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Milestone for Highland Council's hydro project as Archimedes Screw take another step towards completion

By Ian Duncan

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The stainless-steel 'envelope' on the Archimedes Screw project in the River Ness.
The stainless-steel 'envelope' on the Archimedes Screw project in the River Ness.

A renewable energy project being developed for Highland Council has reached another milestone.

The stainless-steel 'envelope' for the 92kW Archimedes Screw hydroelectric scheme in Inverness is being installed.

Situated on the banks of the River Ness, directly next to the Holm Mills bridge, this Archimedes screw project will generate and supply more than 500,000 kwh of green electricity annually to the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre – one of the highest consuming buildings across the Highland Council estate.

Councillor Trish Robertson, the chairwoman of the Climate Change Working Group, said: “We are delighted to see the continued progress of the Archimedes Screw project. This will offset the organisation’s reliance on grid supplied electricity and also help reduce the council's carbon footprint.

“This is a flagship project for sustainability which is utilising historical infrastructure from a disused hydro scheme and using the surrounding area to create a destination.

“The innovative structure and supporting interactive content will ensure the scheme is a welcome addition to a high footfall area of the city, further strengthening the river as an attraction and re-introducing it as a valued asset for renewable generation.”

Martin MacDonald, project manager said: “This is obviously a massive milestone for the project. The envelope looks fantastic, and the surrounding landscaping and interpretive content is starting to take shape.

“The contractors have been absolutely first class and we are already getting great feedback from the public on the new addition to the river. We can't wait to open the site to the public in 2022 and hopefully help inspire the next generation of engineers in Highland.”

The River Ness Hydro will be officially named in January 2022 following a naming competition which was open to school pupils across Highland.

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