For viewers who are checking the Power Meter and wondering why the power generated is going up while the level in reservoir is going down, a word of explanation. There is a small bug in our data extraction routine which shows positive numbers as negatives. Our software designers know about it and we expect it to be corrected soon. For the record at the time of writing we are generating at 82kWh and the reservoir level is 800mm over the overflow.
Following unseasonally low rainfall in September and October, November clearly decided it was time for unseasonally high rainfall. During November rainfall was over 200% of normal according to the Met. Office.
At the time of writing both reservoirs are full and overflowing and the hydro scheme is generating as much as possible. Since mid-November we have been generating around 1800 kWhs per day; this compares with 180 kWhs per day for the 10 weeks prior to that.
Harlaw Hydro Ltd has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Community Project category at The Scottish Green Energy Awards 2015.
It’s a tough field there are a number of other great schemes. You can find a full list of all finalists here.
Some fishermen having been wondering where the water went, was hydro pinching it? Reality is that hydro can only use what is released by Flood Prevention and they are obliged to release enough to keep the river looking like a river (compensation flow). The water didn’t go anywhere, it simply didn’t arrive.
The met office publishes a considerable amount of historical weather information using the average of recordings from 1961-1990. Compared with the met base August this year was approx. 60% of average, September was approx. 30% and October approx. 30%. We don’t yet have November figures but in the last week we have had enough water to generate, at the very low rate of 18kWh, for several 24 hour periods rather than the 10hr daytime periods previously possible.
Unlike the Ancient Mariner who said ‘Water, water everywhere …..’ we only have the proverbial drop. Rainfall in this part of the country was very low through August and September leaving both Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoirs unusually short of water. Only a minimal compensation flow is available, enough for low level generation during part of the day.
DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) published a consultation on a review of the FiT (Feed in Tariff) Scheme on 27th August. Significant changes may be made to the FiT. Click here to see the consultation papers.
Society members at the AGM were urged to read the consultation paper and to respond. To respond to the consultation, go to DECC’s website Consultation on a review of the Feed-in Tariffs scheme.
This consultation closes on the 23rd October 2015.
Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism switched on the Harlaw Hydro scheme today. Many of those who made this scheme possible were present to celebrate the completion of a fantastic community project.
Here is what the Edinburgh Reporter said
Today we moved from testing to running 24/7. CEC have closed the upper penstock so all water flow is now through the turbine.
However the reservoirs are so low that only the basic compensation flow is available for use, only just enough to allow electricity generation. What’s needed now is more rain.
A formal opening of the scheme by Fergus Ewing MSP is being planned for 1st September and before that we expect to complete the civils work and tidy up the site.
Long before we were worrying about planning permission, a lease or a grid connection water was generating electricity at Harlaw Reservoir. Circa 1900 there was a water wheel in action powering the lights in the water bailiff’s house. The remnants of that water wheel have been salvaged but what now?
If someone, or a group, can do something with them please make contact.
The good news is that the replacement generator has arrived and been installed. Maneuvering one and half tonnes of generator into the power house and then into position on the turbine is a skilled and delicate process, all expertly completed. We expect to generate our first units of electricity very soon.