Less Water

Contrary to popular belief there has not been much rain in the last few weeks which is why the water level in reservoir has been dropping slowly.  Reservoir’s prime purpose is to store surplus water as part of the Edinburgh Flood Management scheme but the reservoir is also used by the fishermen as well as the hydro scheme.  Fortunately there is little conflict of interest but balancing the requirements with supply needs some attention.  The aim is to have the reservoir approximately 1.2 meters below the overflow mark.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Another milestone passed – Harlaw Hydro has completed the trading requirement needed for it to take the next step in the EIS process, submitting an EIS1 form to HMRC.  The form has been completed and submitted.  If all goes well HMRC will supply a number of EIS3 forms for distribution to the relevant members.  When this might happen is however not certain.

Harlaw Hydro at Holyrood

Motion Number: S4M-15072
Lodged By: Gordon MacDonald
Date Lodged: 04/12/2015

Title: Harlaw Hydro Ltd, Green Energy Award Finalist

Motion Text:

That the Parliament congratulates Harlaw Hydro Ltd on being nominated as a finalist in the Best Community Project category for the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2015, which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre; understands that Harlaw Hydro is a social investment project that built and now operates a hydroelectric dam to generate green electricity to benefit social community investors; welcomes the additional generating capacity that contributes 75KW, which is enough for the average consumption of 153 houses; understands that, in 2014, renewables generated 49.8% of Scotland’s electricity consumption, making the sector the country’s largest source of power, and considers Harlaw Hydro a worthy finalist at the Green Energy Awards.

Small Gremlin / Cockroach

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.

Harlaw Spillway

Harlaw Spillway

Water a Plenty

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.

Where’s the Water?

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.

Water, Water . . .

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 Consultation on FiT

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.