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.

Steady Progress

Back in the mists of time (last year) the Edinburgh Doors Open event passed off successfully with a healthy number of people interested and taking the trip down to the power house. Balerno Village Trust, Friends of the Pentlands, Youth Vision and Malleny Angling Association all had information and people their answering questions too.

There has been little else to trouble the news pages, work by SPN on the Currie sub-station causes the occasional blip on the grid and therefore on generation and we have had enough water to be generating for several weeks now in the 60s kWh which is not only good for the environment but also for the pocket.

Edinburgh Doors Open

Every year the Cockburn Society organises a ‘Doors Open’ programme giving people a chance to visit interesting buildings and facilities that are not normally open to the public.

This year Harlaw Hydro is joining in, there will be displays, people to talk to and an opportunity, for those with stout footwear and some hill-climbing ability, to visit the powerhouse at the base of the dam.  Also taking part are Friends of the Pentlands, the Malleny Angling Association and the Pentland Regional Park.

Come and join us on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th at Harlaw Visitor Centre EH14 7AS.  For details of Doors Open click.

What’s been happening?

This year we have had a wetter summer than for several years but we are still only generating at a lowly 16kWh.  Some replenishment was needed after the exceptionally dry spring and then there was a blip when the council lowered the level of Threipmuir quickly to enable them to inspect something more closely but we have been in a pretty steady state since.

However the 12 month rolling total is holding up well and careful inspection of trends will show that despite only generating at 16kWh we are generating more than in the other two summers of operation; in 2015 we were sometimes only generating for 10 hours a day.



Rain is apparently on its way but the driest April since records began followed by only sporadic rain in May means there is very little water to share out.  Harlaw and Threipmuir reservoirs were built to provide compensation flow throughout the summer so to run them down in May seems odd. However regulations as they stand require CEC to provide water flows in the Water of Leith that are not matched by recent rainfall.  CEC in turn requires Harlaw Hydro to let more water out of the reservoir than is coming in.  At the time of writing Harlaw Reservoir is dropping 18 cms a day.

There is still some water and the reservoir is beautiful.  Pictures courtesy of Andrew Clark.


A Visit from Down Under

On Thursday 30th March we had a visit from a parliamentary committee – not Holyrood, not Westminster but a team of 3 from the Victorian Parliament’s Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee to be precise.  The team were lead by Nazih Elasmar and were undertaking an inquiry into community energy projects.  As part of that inquiry they are visiting successful community energy projects to examine best practice models for supporting community ownership options in the energy sector.

In the photographs you have  Nazih Elasmar, Peter Crisp and Cesar Melhem along with 3 Harlaw Hydro directors, Andrew Clark Martin Petty and Ian Hynd.

At Last – Some Water

All that’s required to appreciate an otherwise wet and miserable day is a hydro scheme – manna from heaven.

Students of the Power Meter will have noted that the rolling 12 month total fell steadily during the winter (last years winter was wonderfully wet) however recent precipitation has turned that round and the number is again rising.