Keltneyburn Hydro, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

The Keltneyburn Hydro Generating Station is a ‘run of river’ hydro scheme with a maximum power output of 2MW producing in the region of 6,000MWhrs per annum. The intake and weir structure, located on the Alt Mor tributary, is the abstraction point connecting to the 800 mm diameter underground pipeline. The pipeline runs for approximately 5.5km, dropping over 250 metres from abstraction point to the outfall at the confluence of the Keltney Burn and River Lyon where excess water from the pipeline and turbine flow is returned.

The Keltney Burn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the area around the intake location contains several wildlife species that dictated specific operational ‘windows’ for the civil engineering works. Keltneyburn Hydro worked very closely with SEPA, SNH and local fisheries groups to ensure that all aspects of the scheme met with the required standards and conditions.

A key consideration of the scheme was that the integrity of the countryside was maintained, emphasising the green credentials of the scheme and protecting the environment. The powerhouse containing the twin turbines, generators and transformer is partially buried underground; the only visible sign being the stone clad wall and access doors as shown opposite. The intake and outfall structures are also partially buried and clad in stone to blend in with the surrounding environment. Fish screens were also installed.

All 5.5km of the pipeline are buried underground along the entire route; the only visible elements now being the periodic manhole covers allowing access to the seven air valve chambers.

The entire installation was commissioned on 7 May 2010 and is currently operating to the designed capacity. The installation benefits from an 12.1p/KWhr generation tariff under Year 3 of the Feed-in-Tariff scheme. Keltneyburn have opted out of the export tariff and entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with SmartestEnergy.

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