Kingussie Community Hydro
Report to AGM 23th January 2018
The hydro has continued into its third year of operation generating an annual income of over £12000. The cost of operation has been relatively insignificant and apart from the reserve retained for future contingencies, virtually all the income has been available to the Hydro Fund.
2017 had the poorest spring and summer for output so far, mainly caused by:
1. There was very little snow during the winter 2016/2017 so there was no slow release of melt water to sustain the output during dry spells.
2. May and June were particularly dry and the turbine was shut down on low water level for extended periods.
3. Clogging of the inlet screen as a result of the growth of algae during the dry periods.
However the wet autumn made up for this to some extent as can be seen in the graph below in which the output between the 12th of each month is shown:
The low cost of operation arises because most of the maintenance work has been done by volunteers. As well as scheduled tasks such as greasing of bearings, repairs to eroded concrete and regular brushing of the inlet screen have been carried out.
The internet connection at the KGC Clubhouse to permit the manufacturer to re-configure the remote control system remotely was finally commissioned towards the end of 2016 and this has allowed the response to high and low water levels, power dips and clogging of the inlet screen to be automated. A partial automatic clean of the screen is now possible when the river level is too high for it to be done manually.
In the near future there is further work to be done on repairing concrete erosion and damage to the inlet screen caused by spates but no major problems are foreseen. Large spates that bring down significant quantities of sediment should be reduced by the flood alleviation scheme at Pitmain once it is in operation.
The work that was done by volunteers to landscape and replant the river bank has been extremely successful and the rock armour is now well disguised by natural vegetation.