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.
Fergus Ewing pressing the start button.
Here is what the Edinburgh Reporter said
Edinburgh Reporter on the opening of Harlaw Hydro
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.
We are still progressing, but a couple of unexpected obstacles have had to be dealt with. Alignment of the inlet pipe with the turbine was not good enough and has required some re-modelling and re-alignment, this is in hand. The major delay however relates to our generator which was damaged in transit; a new generator is being supplied but will not be available until late June.
Nearly but not quite
In the last couple of months there has been progress in several areas, not as much as had been expected but progress nonetheless. We now have the turbine and draft tube in place and the pipework lined up with it. Grouting in the turbine and casting the third and final thrust block are on course to happen this week. As soon as we have a credible completion date you will read it here.
The turbine in position and connected to the inlet pipework.
The inclusion of a valve to enable emergency draining of the dam was a design requirement. While we hope never to use it we needed to test that it works. This was done last week and the picture gives you some idea of the power we are in process of harnessing.
Since the last entry in the blog ‘visible progress’ has been on holiday. We have our control panel in place, a connection to the grid and a broadband link; we need now a turbine and a generator too. However the turbine and generator, currently stored in Kilsyth, are now scheduled to be moved into the building on 20th April, the delay being largely due to the availability of certain key people.
Control Cabinet and Grid Connection
The link to the grid is now in place, thank you SPN, and the first significant piece of equipment is also in place. Harlaw Hydro, Kestral Controls and SJB Construction teamed up to maneuver the control panel into the building today.
The Control cabinet being carefully lowered down to the turbine house.
Steady progress continues, the turbine house now has its doors, roof and rough casting.