Two new hydro projects totaling 2.1MW have been commissioned in the Scottish Highlands, with both turbine packages being supplied by Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd.

The first, Taodail Hydro, was commissioned in September.  Located near the village of Strathcarron, Wester Ross in the Western Scottish Highlands, tt is a 1.35MW, medium head, high-flow project incorporating twin intakes, large-bore pipeline and a twin-jet Turgo turbine. 

The second project, Kendrum Hydro, was commissioned in December.  This 0.75MW scheme is located on the Edinchip Estate, Lochearnhead, to the west of Loch Earn. It is a medium-head, medium-flow project incorporating a single intake, medium bore pipeline and a four-jet vertical Pelton turbine.

"We're very pleased to have delivered another two projects on time and budget,” commented David Tomb of Gilkes Energy who led the project management. “The two projects are similar in some respects: both have similar length pipelines (2km) and are considered 'medium-head' as the water drops a vertical distance in the range 100-150m. In many other respects they are different: for example Taodail uses 2 intakes to capture the necessary catchment, uses twice the flow rate of water and has nearly twice the power output of Kendrum. Kendrum uses a single intake and unusually uses a Gilkes vertical 4-jet Pelton turbine which provides very high efficiencies across a broad operating range and also has a small footprint which reduces the size and cost of the powerhouse.

“The compact 4-jet Pelton is a new development from Gilkes and is perfect for this site. Both projects had their respective engineering and construction challenges. The hydraulic design of the Taodail pipeline was particularly challenging due to a very flat gradient in its upper section, and some challenging weather conditions."

The Taodail and Kendrum projects are the 12th and 13th hydro projects to be commissioned in the last three years by Gilkes.


Kendrum intake during construction

Kendrum 4 jet vertical Pelton during installation