Case Study - High Head Hydro

Nevis Range Hydro

Fort William, Highland

Nevis Range Hydro is located on the Allt Choille-rais Burn on a subsidiary ridge of Aonach Mor. It lies within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area.

Green Cat Renewables were contracted to provide the feasibility assessment, EIA assessment, planning submission and support, CAR Licence application, ongoing liaison with regulatory bodies, detailed scheme design, technical procurement services and Client’s Engineer services.

The key elements of this project are:


The single intake is 15m by 2.5m and spans the burn, encompassing a 2.5m x 1m inclined alpine screen.


The pipeline is 1,410m in length, head 310m from intake to powerhouse. The upper, low pressure section is HPPE and the lower, higher pressure section ductile iron (DI).


The building is situated upstream of the existing Rio Tinto Alcan hydro scheme intake. It houses two turbines with a total generation capacity of 1.1MW.


The scheme supplies energy to the Nevis Range Mountain Resort via a private 11kV underground cable. All surplus energy is exported to the grid.


Construction of the Nevis Range Hydro Scheme was particularly challenging. Rope access was used at the steepest section. To minimise environmental impact during construction, on the upper sections, a walking excavator was used and materials and pipe were transported by helicopter.

Key Data
  • Client: Nevis Range Mountain Resort
  • Power - 1.1MW
  • Gross Head - 320m
  • Maximum Flow - 438 litres/second
  • Turbine Type - Twin Peltons
  • Predicted Average Annual Energy Production (AAPE) ~3,815 MWh
  • National Scenic Area
  • On-site usage
  • Private HV network
  • Rope access, helicopter and walking excavator
  • Date of Commissioning – December 2016