Gilkes is due to begin work to replace a 90-year-old hydroelectric plant at Rydal Beck in the Lake District. The Scottish company is working alongside Ellergreen Hydro on the 500 kW project, which is expected to become the largest hydro project in the region when it starts-up next year.

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Gilkes is due to begin work to replace a 90-year-old hydroelectric plant at Rydal Beck in the Lake District. The Scottish company is working alongside Ellergreen Hydro on the 500 kW high-head project, which is expected to become the largest hydro project in the region when it starts up next year.

Glikes said it would reinstate the next generation of Gilkes turbine at Rydal Hall – its Gilkes Turgo turbine with a maximum flow rate of 690lps.

The start of construction follows approval by the Lake District National Park Authority. It is due to be carried out over the next two years, with commissioning of the plant expected in August 2015.

The electricity generated from the new Rydal Hall hydro project will provide on-site power for the Christian retreat centre near Ambleside, with the surplus fed back into the local electricity network.

"We are delighted to be working with the diocese on this important project. The new scheme will be the largest hydro-electric scheme in the Lake District and a major contributor to the National Park’s Low Carbon Vision," commented Mark Cropper, managing director of Ellergreen.

Gilkes joined Ellergreen Hydro as a partner and investor in 2008. It is also a hydro developer in its own right as Gilkes Energy, which is primarily focused on Scotland.


Photo: The Rydal Hall high head project is located near Ambleside in the heart of the Lake District (Source: Gilkes)