Resource Efficient Scotland have been working with the Cabrach Trust to provide an energy report. This report looks at the potential for a micro-hydrogeneration scheme to be built to supply electricity to the development of a Heritage Centre and Micro Distillery at the Inverharroch Steading, Lower Cabarch.
It has been identified that the potential exists for an intake to a micro-hydro scheme to be located near where the Carach Water enters the Cabrach Trust’s ownership and for a penstock pipe to be laid following the watercourse to a powerhouse in the vicinity of the road bridge connecting the Inverharroch Steading to the Acorn Centre. The scheme would have good access and a short connection into the new electricity supply to the Heritage Centre and Distillery.
Initial estimation of the net head of 13m and a using a mean estimated flow of the Carach Water of 376 litres per second as the flow allowed to the scheme, we estimate that a micro-hydro scheme of around 33 kW might be possible. As a preliminary estimate a scheme of this size could generate around 117,000 kWh per year, potentially saving up to £19,200 per year on electricity costs (at current rates). Feed in tariff (FiTs) revenue may be worth a further £9,174 per year, index linked for 20 years.
This could be a very exciting option for the Trust. Installation of a micro hydro scheme would provide significant energy cost savings, carbon savings and revenue from FiTs. A hydro-scheme would create an interesting attraction for visitors to the Heritage Centre, enhance the developments green credentials and link the past use of the Cabrach Water with the new development. The electricity generated from a micro-hydro scheme could dovetail nicely with generation from solar PV to provide a good level of renewable electricity generation available all year round.