Turbine arrives on site

The turbine is being installed as we speak. Bill comments “The quality of workmanship is impressive. We will have a powerful piece of equipment here – all we need is the river to help us along. With current very low flow conditions we’ll probably only have a ‘window’ for commissioning and then have to shutdown”. Let the rain hold off for a few days while we install and then Autumn can get going properly!

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Civil works complete

They say 90% of a hydro project is in the civil engineering. These photos just in really show how much work has gone in. The first picture is from the period of floods when work on this area was just starting:

We’re still awaiting the turbine itself but assured that it is on its way very soon!

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First parts of turbine in place

The turbine house is finished and the capture ring is in place – this is the interface between the turbine and its housing. The draft tube will be next – this is the outflow of the turbine – we have agreed a slight shape modification which will increase efficiency. After that the propellor itself and the generator will go in – this should take a couple more weeks and we will be ready to make power from the rain now falling!

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Ready for the turbine

Some great pictures from site showing the sluice gate in place and the precision concrete housings for the turbine – you can clearly see the hole in which it will sit. We are expecting the first parts of the turbine to go in shortly.

The project has nearly spent the 70% of its share capital required to apply for the SEED EIS forms and will be doing so soon – members in the habit of filling in tax forms early may wish to wait for these!

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Coverage on the BBC website

A story covering the delays with some good pictures of the installation in progress is here:


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Nearly ready for the turbine

A lot of work has been going on at Tetstill – perhaps not spectacular but necessary work to prepare the wheel pit for the turbine enclosure. Some redesign of the enclosure itself has been necessary to make sure the generator and control gear are adequately protected from floods. All this has meant that we are slightly behind schedule – still on for April turbine installation however. The pictures show the underpinning and strengthening of both wheel pits. We think the stone facing looks excellent – we are creating the heritage of the future after all…

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Steady progress through the floods at Neen Sollars

Installation work continues at a good pace, despite inevitable delays caused by the near-constant floods for the last few months, now alternating with periods of low temperatures which mean concrete work cannot be carried out.

The cofferdam upstream and downstream is holding well despite the River Rea flowing fast over the last two months, the tailrace is now largely completed with gabion baskets, and work has started in the original wheel pit strengthening walls and making the concrete structure for housing turbine and generator.  NSCH has already contracted a local electrician to prepare for the generator installation and dovetail the necessary work connecting to grid. We reckon to be generating around Easter at this rate.


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The digger turns around

After completing work on the tailrace and a break to allow completion of the salmon run,  we are now working on the sluice area – removing silt from the floods and preparing to excavate the turbine tailrace and prepare the concrete box in which the turbine will sit. In the New Year we will be getting to the high-tech bit!

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Tailrace work complete

We have now finished the work widening and strengthening the tailrace, which will be taking a greater flow than it does now. Work on site will stop for a while, until mid-December. This is so that we do not impede or disturb the salmon run – work in the tailrace area was permitted, but the next stage will see us working at the weir to install the new sluices and the turbine itself.

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Progress on site

At long last following the recent floods we have finally been successful in placing the coffer dams at the sluice gate and the tailrace exit . There still remain some small water leaks but we are reasonably confident that these can be contained. Indeed it has been water ingress across the coffer dam (now buttressed with several hundred sand bags) that has been the main problem plus the weather which has caused two delays (the first storm on Sept 23-24 brought water up to the window sills of the mill but scoured off a lot of the silt from the July 13-14 flood).


The next step will be to commence work assoon as possible on tailrace excavation and bank reinforcement. Key work on the turbine area cannot commence until the main salmon run on the fish pass ends on December 10th. This will most probably delay the commissioning period about two months until late January/early February, 2013.
The pictures from September 24 give some idea of why we had delays!
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