Inverness City Councillors Give Hydro-scheme The Green Light
18th March 2008
A feasibility study to investigate re-instating a 32-year-old hydro-scheme on the River Ness, Inverness has been given the go-ahead from members of The Highland Council's Inverness City Committee.
If re-instated, power generated form the hydro-scheme will be used in the City's Lighting Project "illuminatinginverness" to offset the cost of running and maintaining new lighting in the Old Town and on Ness Bridge.
A site on the River Ness near Whin Park is the location that will be investigated for the re-instatement of a mini hydro-scheme which was decommissioned in 1976.
Chairman of The Highland Council's Inverness City Committee, Provost Bob Wynd said: "Inverness has 4000 hours a darkness each year and "illuminatinginverness" will use lighting to its best effects to influence and impact on not just the local tourism economy but it will also provide year round benefit for the people of Inverness. Using hydro-power is not only an environmentally friendly option it will also be a cost-effective option to illuminate Inverness."
City Partnership Officer, Marie Mackintosh said: "Initial river flow surveys and discussions with Scottish and Southern Energy have indicated that one hydro-scheme race could generate up to 150 - 200kw per hour. Today's endorsement by the City Committee means we can now formalise a funding approach to Highlands & Islands Community Energy Company with a view to moving forward with a phased feasibility study and full consultation with all parties that might be affected by the proposal."
The Highland Council and Inverness City Partnership will tender a full feasibility study which will detail costs and designs for the hydro-scheme project.
The aim of Inverness City's Lighting Strategy "illuminatinginverness" is to illuminate the city's historical architectural assets, make energy efficiencies and reduce light pollution. This aim will be achieved by:
~ accentuating and celebrating the City's built heritage;
~ making the City look more attractive and feel safer at night;
~ contributing to the growing evening economy;
~ reducing light pollution and creating energy efficiencies; and
~ enhancing the image of Inverness as a modern city, proud of its past, positive about its future.