Nevis Range turns green
30th April 2016
The Scottish ski area is installing a hydro-electric scheme this summer to power the lifts, the cafÃ© and its offices.
£4m of funding has just been agreed for the 1,100kW project and work is set to commence.
It should mean reduced costs in running the resort and huge environmental benefits.
Any excess electricity will be sold back to the National Grid.
“This is an exciting project, to be part of a company that generates its own power in an environmentally friendly way ticks all the right boxes for a ski area and visitor attraction in this beautiful location,” said Managing Director, Peter MacFarlane.
A small dam will be built at 580m in the ‘Back Corrie’ of the ski centre. There will be a 1.3km pipe for a penstock which will be buried underground and will feed to a turbine house with 2 x 550kW turbines.
An electric cable will be buried through the forest to connect the power house to Nevis Range base station.
Once the water has been through the turbines generating electricity for Nevis Range, it flows back into the Allt choille Rais burn.
It then drops into Rio Tinto’s intake and plays its part in generating power for the smelter – so it gets used twice.
The contractor appointed for the project is the company, Georhe Leslie, and the site manager is Charlie Gallagher.
“It has been a complex negotiation to raise money for the scheme as it involved the many parties who have an interest in the facilities at the ski centre/visitor attraction and the surrounding land,” said a director of Nevis Range Hydro Company Ltd, Marian Austin. “I’m very pleased this phase is over and we can progress to building it.”
It will be a challenging scheme to construct because of the steep terrain and the isolated, wild nature of the construction site.
Specialist machinery and helicopters will be used to minimize damage to the Corrie that has various environmental and landscape designations.
It will be visible from a distance during construction but after the pipeline is re-instated, and the access roads restored, it is designed to disappear back into the landscape.
The scheme is due to be up and running by the end of November in time for the next ski season.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
For the spirit of the mountains