When we came to Abriachan in 1983 there was a small hydro electric scheme operating.The stream it ran off is the Kilianan and has a fantastic 100ft plus head of water.
The scheme was put in in the late 1940’s, by the then owners the Woodwards and was installed by an engineer relative of theirs, Mr Mackenzie. He ran an ice factory in Inverness and was obviously very able and put the scheme together.
The piping was sources from pipes that were laid around Inverness in the 2nd world war to provide emergency water supplies, when needed. Real post war imagination and innovation.
It gave about 20KW and was a Gilkes of Cumbria turbine. That was more than enough for our house and the nursery for about 9 months of the yearWe kept the system going for quite a number of years, but the age of the systems and the increasing costs of repairs made it increasingly uneconomical, and we closed the system down in about 2005.
And then along came support for renewable energy and feed in tariffs and the whole economics of small hydro schemes changed. And now, DHG (Dulas) hydro is installing a new hydro scheme in the Kilianan. The design and capacity is now more advanced and it will be producing up to 100kw and feeding electricity into the grid. It should be up and operational by the end of 2015.All very exciting. We will put up photographs as things progress. Lots of folks are asking what’s going on….so here is the keep up to date space.