Scotland hydro development featuring Archimedes screw now online

Hydro Ness site

According to the Scottish Highland Council, the Hydro Ness generator of 92 kW located on the banks the River Ness in Scotland has now been fully operational.

Hydro Ness, an Archimedes screw-hydroelectric scheme and interactive visitor experience, will produce over 500,000 kWh annually.

The Archimedes screw turbine-generator consists of a rotor in the shape of an Archimedean screw – with a hollow cylinder and a spiral part on the outside — which rotates in a semicircular trough. Water flows into the screw, and its weight presses onto the blades, causing the turbine to turn. The screw’s end is connected to a generator. Water flows freely into the river. Through a gearbox, the upper end of the screw can be connected to a generator.

The electricity generated will feed the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre, providing roughly 50% of the site’s electricity demand. The installation will allow for a controlled water flow as well as a sufficient screen to protect fish. The turbine is intended to have a low impact on the environment.

Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Raymond Bremner said: “I am delighted to see the turbines operational. The project team have been thorough in their monitoring of the scheme, and it is really exciting to be up and running.” Bremner said the river levels will dictate when the turbine is operational. “Electricity prices are increasing rapidly, and this project, and others like it, are vital in mitigating against market increases to help ensure the council, and our partners, continue to offer first-class services to the public,” he said.

The public will have access to the interactive visitor experience and the scheme from July 29.