Hydroelectric turbine to provide STEM learning opportunity for young people of Highland
22nd January 2021
The Highland Council has begun detailed designs works on a major £2.5m energy project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through Salix Finance.
At a site on the River Ness, near Whin Park in Inverness, the council is preparing to install a 92kW ‘Archimedes Screw' hydroelectric power turbine.
Cllr Trish Roberston, Chair of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group said: "I am thrilled this project is going ahead. We see this as a flagship project that will hopefully inspire and encourage young people of Highland to learn more about STEM subjects and the importance of renewable technologies. Not only that, the design will serve as an attraction for locals and visitors, while saving the organisation money and carbon. It is another example of strong partnership working between Highland Council and our valued partners such as Salix and the Science Skills Academy."
This impressive project is set to save up to 1,420 tonnes of CO2 per annum, which will help to meet vital climate and ecological emergency targets. On-site generation and the localisation of an energy supply can provide security and resilience against rising energy prices and intermittent grid supply. The scheme will provide 50% of the energy demand for the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre, which is currently one of the highest energy consuming buildings in the Highlands, dramatically reducing the need for fossil fuels.
The hydroelectric turbine has been designed to benefit visitors to the area, providing better connections between the city centre and the river and encouraging the 6 million yearly visitors to Highland to experience the sustainability initiative, set within the beauty of the natural landscape.
As part of the development, Highland Council is working with the Science Skills Academy (SSA) to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) projects through the addition of interactive screens and educational content.
The SSA is a partnership project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and with £3m from the Scottish Government. The funding is part of the £315 million Inverness and Highlands City Region Deal, which is funded by the Scottish and UK Governments and regional partners.
Emma Robertson, Science Skills Academy project manager at said: "This is an innovative project that provides an excellent opportunity for young people, their families and other members of the public to learn about renewable energy generation while demonstrating career opportunities and pathways. This fascinating piece of engineering uses proven technology and will inspire young scientists and engineers of the future."
The project will operate for an excess of 65 years and has been implemented as part of the council’s wider ambition to create long-term, positive change to the city and region, whilst leading the way in low carbon generation in Inverness. Taking a strategic approach such as this ensures that savings on energy costs can continue to grow over time, freeing up capital for further investment in the community.
The hydroelectric turbine is set to complete in Spring 2022.
Follow @HighlandCouncil and @SalixFinance on Twitter to stay up to date with the project.
To help mitigate the persistent uncertainty and challenges arising from the pandemic, the Highland Council continues its humanitarian support, in partnership with the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE), which operates FareShare Scotland in the north of Scotland. With funding from the Scottish Government and donations from supermarkets and food suppliers, FareShare, the Highland Council, local community groups and the Third Sector have adopted a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to food support for the wellbeing of households across the Highlands.
The Corporate Resources Committee of Highland council debated the latest account to December 2020 that show an underspend in staffing costs of £14,474. This saving has helped to create a surplus and stated in the report "at current projections for the year-end outturn position suggest a net year end budget surplus of £3.1m, a significant improvement from the £8.7m forecast overspend reported to this committee in November." Councillor Matthew Reiss appeared today to chair the meeting of the Corporate Resource committee following the resignation of councillor Alister Mackinnon.
School communities across Highland are being encouraged to remain vigilant on safety measures as a partial school return begins today. Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted to see the return of some of our pupils to education settings across Highland today.
Members of the Caithness Committee have agreed to use Town Centre Funding to invest in the CCTV infrastructure for both Wick and Thurso. £16,100 will be used to digitalise the existing aging analogue public space CCTV system in Wick town centre and connection of the new system into the council's CCTV monitoring office with £25,625 to do the same for Thurso town centre.
This item was discussed at the meeting and is available on video below. Members of the Highland Council's Caithness Committee have had the opportunity to review and comment on the two updated Active Travel Masterplans for Wick and Thurso aimed at making it safer for people to walk and cycle in and around the towns.
Letters to parents, senior-phase pupils and supportive information to school staff will be issued this week to explain the phased return to schools for some pupils on 22 February, in line with today's announcements and new guidance issued by the Scottish Government. A large amount of work and progress has already been achieved to prepare our schools for the return of P1-P3 children and Senior Phase students who will return for essential practical activities for certification, and we will continue to provide in school remote provision for our key worker and most vulnerable learners.
Retail, tourism, hospitality and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today. It is one of a series of measures proposed by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) spending.
Housing Secretary extends support for renters during pandemic. Renters will continue to be supported during the ongoing national lockdown restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions.
The agenda was hanged to take the Caithness Horizons paper first. Read the Agenda Read the Supplementary Agenda Item 3: Minutes Report, 124.69 KB Item 5: Police - Area Performance Summary Report, 75.13 KB.
On Tuesday 16 February 2021 from 9:30 until 17:00, motorists are being advised by The Highland Council that two streets in Wick will be temporary closed to allow KIER to safely carry out Iron work repairs. U3529 Grant Street, Wick, will be closed from its junction with the U3560 Huddart Street to its junction with C1073 Macarthur Street U3560 Huddart Street, Wick, will closed from its junction with the U3654 Smith Terrace to its junction with U3569 Kinnaird Street.