SSE Renewables to be official STEM partner for the Hydro Ness

SSE Renewables to be official STEM partner for the Hydro Ness (Quelle: SSE Renewables)

A 93kW hydroelectric scheme, Hydro Ness uses historical infrastructure from a disused hydro scheme dating back to 1929, to generate over 500,000 kWh of renewable electricity each year for the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre. The project relies on technology dating back to ancient Egypt that utilises the natural flow of the river water to power two large turbines and help create green energy.

Hydro Ness, will act as a STEM learning hub and provide visitors with the opportunity to interact with a unique micro run-of-the-river hydro scheme and learn about the neighbouring environment and ecology. The content funded by SSE Renewables will provide background on different hydro technologies and help showcase large scale hydro schemes, specifically the company’s flagship Coire Glas project.

The Coire Glas project is a large-scale hydro pumped storage scheme at Loch Lochy in the Great Glen which will have a potential capacity of up to 1500 megawatts and would more than double Great Britain’s existing electricity storage capacity. The project has the potential to play a key role in the transition to Scotland’s carbon-free future.

Ian Innes, Coire Glas Project Director for SSE Renewables, said: “Hydro Ness is a really exciting project, not only for the carbon and energy benefits it can deliver, but also its ambition in terms of site content and messaging. We are delighted to support the project, particularly given the obvious synergy between Hydro Ness and our flagship Coire Glas project. SSE Renewables is committed to supporting STEM learning opportunities and we hope Hydro Ness, and our own Coire Glas project, will act as inspiration for young people across the region. These types of projects will be absolutely vital in achieving net zero and we are excited to see people visit the site and engage with the educational materials and STEM learning opportunities.”

Martin MacDonald, Project Manager and Salix Fund Manager, said: “This financial contribution, which we are massively grateful for, will fund high quality and robust educational materials on site. We believe that the interpretive content will have the greatest impact. Having such a visible and prominent scheme presents a truly unique opportunity to help inspire aspiring engineers and STEM enthusiasts across the region.”

Exploratory Works at the Coire Glas site will begin later this year. The information gathered during these works will inform a final decision, in winter 2023, on whether to construct the scheme. Hydro Ness will open to the public on 29 July.

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