Our First Virtual AGM

Many lockdown days ago we thought that we might be free to meet in September but this is looking less and less likely, accordingly the board has decided to hold the AGM as a webinar, ie remotely over the internet. Members have been sent, papers for the AGM and will know that the date is Friday 26th June at 7.30pm. Details of how to join the webinar will be sent out nearer the time.

Coronavirus and the AGM

The Coronavirus, even with its slightly snappier title of Covid-19, has invaded almost every aspect of life but not quite all; when it rains the water still goes down the hill. In the last financial year mother nature has truly provided.

In line current restrictions the AGM will not be in June this year, it may be possible to hold it in September, that will be assessed during the summer.

Water everywhere, Threipmuir and Harlaw Reservoirs overflowing, the by-pass channel full and the Harlaw Hydro system going flat out.

What a contrast with November 2018.

Why did we stop generating?

On Wednesday 18th CEC closed the outer valve on the main tower as the first part of the annual dam inspection.  Unfortunately the rod connected to the gate valve parted company from the worm drive mechanism that is meant to wind it up and down.  This left the valve closed and Harlaw Hydro with no water supply.  This morning (27th) the CEC blacksmith re-united the rod with its winding mechanism and we started generating again.

Water water everywhere but Harlaw

Those who have been watching the power meter will realise that we are only just generating electricity at the moment.  Match the captions!

  1. Harlaw + Water April 2016
  2. Harlaw – Water November 2018
  3. The ‘beach’ at Threipmuir November 2018
  4. High and dry inlet to the Harlaw Upper Tower
  5. High on the left is the concrete V at the overflow.
  6. Who said the fishing season is over?
  7. Upper Harlaw sans water.

Low water is not only unsightly and poor for electricity generation it also most importantly is dangerous.  Low water exposes parts of the bank which may shelve quickly, as in Harlaw, and exposes very fine and soft silt, as in Threipmuir.  A number of people, walkers and fishermen, have sunk into the soft, muddy silt and needed help to get out.  One person went in to rescue her dog and ended up needing to be rescued by the Fire Brigade.

 

Doors Open – Saturday 29 and Sunday 30

This weekend is Edinburgh Doors Open weekend and Pentland Regional Park are opening the doors to Harlaw Visitor Centre.  A number of other local organisations will be there too, in particular their will be regular tours of the Harlaw Hydro Powerhouse. We’ll be there 11-00 – 15.00 on both days.

PS   Strong footwear is recommended.

Click here for details of Doors Open, Pentland Regional Park and Harlaw Hydro.

 

Maintenance Complete

As many will know our first service has been a long time in coming, and has required plenty of patience and stubbornness, but on Monday our turbine received its first service.  The major task is the lifting of the generator and the runner to facilitate a proper inspection; with the help of our new lifting frame this proved to be quite straight forward.  The inspection yielded no nasty surprises with the runner almost as good as new after nearly 3 years of operation.

As you’ll see in the picture of the inspection cover all the brown water coming out of Red Moss and off the hills has left its mark with a fine but thick peaty deposit.  We plan to pressure wash the inside of turbine casing and the lower part of the pipe work to clear this.

 

The Community Chest

Many will remember that our surplus each year is passed to Balerno Village Trust (BVT) to be used for the benefit of the community.  Coupled with this was a commitment from BVT to initiate a small grant scheme that would be open to organisations not only in Balerno but also in the surrounding area.

The Community Chest, a joint initiative between Currie Balerno Rotary and BVT, is that scheme and it has just announced 8 winners of small grants.  To find out more about the scheme, who has won and how to apply click on BVT Community Trust or Rotary Community Trust.

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