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Gilkes begins construction on Neaty small hydropower plant

Neaty Small Hydropower Project

Construction has begun on a 700 kW small hydropower project being developed by at Culligran Estate in Scotland's Glen Strathfarrar.

Gilkes Energy Ltd. and joint venture company Torrential Potential Ltd. are developing the Neaty Hydro project, which will be a high-head, run-of-river design with a single intake, high-pressure pipeline and Pelton turbine.

"We have been working on this project for a number of years and it is very satisfying to finally see diggers on the ground," Culligran Estate owner Frank Spencer-Nairn said.

The Neaty small hydro project is Gilkes' first in which it has taken full technical design and project management responsibility, according to the company.

The project received planning permission and a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) license in early 2012, followed by a detailed procurement and financial close with the Bank of Scotland. Gilkes said about 1.5 km of access track have already been completed, as well as several hundred meters of pipe. The plant is expected to be in operation by September 2014.

"The project now has the certainty and confidence of both the Feed-In Tariff and a fully-secured funding package, so now we can concentrate fully on building the scheme," Gilkes Energy representative Fraser Allison said. "A big thank you to all those who have worked so hard on the project so far."

HydroWorld.com reported that Gilkes completed work on a similar small hydropower project in May.

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