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Case Studies > Neaty Hydro

Culligran Estate, Strathfarrar nr Beauly


Case Study Neaty Hydro Culligran Estate, Strathfarrar nr Beauly www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Neaty Hydro The Neaty Hydro is built high up on the River Farrar on the Culligran Estate owned by Frank Spencer-Nairn. The River Farrar already produces Hydro electricity from the Culligran scheme, commissioned by the old Scottish Hydro Board in the early 1960’s and now owned and managed by SSE, it is a massive 19MW power station built underground with its water supply delivered by tunnel.

The Neaty scheme is a smaller affair, 700kw max. run of the river project which operates above the intake for its bigger brother. It is a joint venture, a partnership between Frank and his turbine supplier, Gilkes Energy. An intake has been built high up in the peaty Glen Strathfarrarar with a 1.6km pipeline dropping down some 200m to the Gilkes twin jet Pelton turbine, designed to be effective with such a high head of water. The tailrace flows back into the river just below the powerhouse where some of it drops down a vertical shaft to help feed SSE’s giant neighbour.

Frank began his examination of the project in 2009 but it took until 2013 for all permissions to be in place and construction begun. By the end of 2014 the finished project was finally commissioned and a delighted owner watched as the first kilowatts began to flow.

Frank said “I am thrilled by the project and very happy to work with Gilkes team whose professional research and design have greatly contributed to its success”. He was also pleased with the co-operation he had with Planners, SEPA, SNH, and SSE. He went on: “This is a major long term investment in the estate which will eventually allow more investment in the other arms of our business for the next generation. I only wish the existing Hydro schemes had been structured to bring an income into the estates involved, what a difference that would have made.”

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