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Green Highland working triple time

Construction starts on hydro schemes linked by private grid near Achnacarry

Green Highland working triple time image

Perth-based Green Highland Renewables has kicked off construction of three hydro schemes near Achnacarry in the Scottish Highlands linked by a 9.5km private grid network.

The mutually supporting schemes are sited on the north shore of Loch Arkaig, about 15 miles north of Fort William, and have 750kW, 500kW and 1250kW capacities.

Two of the developments, Allt Dubh and Loch Blair, lie fully within the Achnacarry Estate, while the third, Allt Cheanna Mhuir, lies partly on Forestry Commission Scotland land.

The trio is being financed by investment management group Triple Point, which has now supported five GHR projects since 2010.

“Loch Arkaig is quite remote with challenging topography and the cost to connect each scheme to the grid individually would have been prohibitive,” said GHR chief executive Richard Round.

“However, by linking them with a dedicated private grid, which then ties into the local distribution network, we can make all the projects generate an economic return.”

The schemes will be built by civil contractor MAM Contracting, which has worked with GHR previously, and all three are due to be complete next year. They will be powered by Austrian Kössler turbines.

GHR began work on the Achnacarry projects in 2009 with much of the time since then spent waiting for a grid connection date. Consents were clinched last year.

 Image: construction work on the company's Chonais hydro development (GHR)

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