UK hydro sites in construction
RWE npower renewables presented a proposal to The Scottish Government in December 2006 for a run of river hydro scheme on the lower catchment of the River Glass situated in Novar Estates, adjacent to Black Rock Gorge in Evanton, Ross-shire. The hydroelectric generating scheme, named Black Rock Hydro, was granted consent by The Scottish Government in December 2008.
The development is one of a number of significant projects being progressed by the company in support of Scotland and the UK's commitment to increase the proportion of electricity generated by renewable sources. Scottish Ministers have set a target for 100% of Scotland’s demand for electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.
The scheme will operate only when sufficient water is naturally present in the river in order to maintain and protect the water environment. The schene will have potential of supplying the average annual electricity needs of around 2000 households.FN
The River Glass offers particular characteristics making it suitable for hydro generation in that it benefits from:
- High river flows
- Significant elevation between intake weir and powerhouse
- Access to local electricity distribution network
- Public roads and estate access tracks
- Community support
The development will comprise the following:
- low profile intake weir
- buried pipeline and pipe bridge
- buried power cable from the powerhouse to the nearby overhead powerlines.
Environmental (terrestrial and aquatic) and technical studies have been carried out on the site. The findings of these assessments have helped to inform the design of the scheme and mitigate any adverse impacts to ensure the water environment is protected. These findings were presented in the Environmental Statement which was submitted with the planning application.
Once operational, the river will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
FN Energy predicted to be generated by the scheme is derived using available flows monitored at the site and applying trends from RWE npower renewables’ existing hydro portfolio located across the UK and the predicted energy efficiency.
Equivalent homes supplied is based on annual electricity consumption per home of 4700 kWh. This figure is supported by domestic electricity consumpion data available from The Digest of UK Energy Statistics and household estimates and projections from the UK Statistics Authority.