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Watch: Highland Council leader Raymond Bremner welcomes 'fully operational' Hydro Ness scheme on River Ness

By Scott Maclennan

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The Caithness leader of Highland Council has welcomed a hydro scheme on the River Ness which is now fully operational.

The Hydro Ness scheme will power Inverness Leisure. It is expected to open to the public on July 29 once a showcase is finished to show how science and nature can work together to make the world a better place.

The permanent exhibition also aims to encourage visitors to think about their personal impact on the environment.

The 92kW Hydro Ness scheme is based on the Archimedes screw and will generate over 500,000kWh of renewable energy each year.

The electricity generated will feed the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre, providing roughly 50 per cent of the site’s electricity demand.

The leader of Highland Council 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.

“The river levels, in accordance with SEPA guidelines, will dictate when the turbines are operational, but it is fantastic to know we are now generating renewable electricity to help power Inverness Leisure.

“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.”

Director of sport and leisure at High Life Highland, Douglas Wilby, said: “This is a great milestone for what was a hugely ambitious project.

“Inverness Leisure is a unique building in its operation and offering; it caters for over 800,000 customer visits annually and we are an organisation that is determined to try and minimise our footprint whilst ensuring we continue to provide a vital function for the community.

“Hydro Ness is a project that helps us do that and it is very exciting to benefit from the electricity generated just a few hundred meetings from the building.”

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