We aim to use the enormous amount of rain that falls on Ardtornish, over 90’’ a year, to produce energy in a way that doesn’t damage our environment. The rain fills our rivers and reservoirs, and the energy from the weight of water travelling under pressure down our pipelines (known as penstocks), turns specially designed turbines.
The turbines spin generators which produce electricity. The water returns to the river and from there flows to the sea. The electricity is sold to the national grid, providing Ardtornish with the income it requires to help do the things we need to do, and consumers with a supply of green, clean energy.
On the river Rannoch, we have replaced the earlier 1996 ‘run of river’ hydro scheme with a cascade system of two independent hydro schemes. The two furthest intakes divert additional water, via a low pressure aqueduct pipe into Loch Tearnait, which acts as a water storage reservoir. It is fed by both this new water intake, and the river and burns that flow into it naturally. The main Tearnait hydro intake feeds this water into the 1000m long penstock which creates a 60m head (i.e. 60m pressure of water) at the new Tearnait power house at the eastern edge of Strath Shuardail.
Having produced up to 700 kW of electricity in the Tearnait power house, the water returns to the river and fills the newly-created Lochan Lùb an Arbhair (translated from the Gaelic as the bend or meander around the corn field). This new loch was created by the 2012 Rannoch Dam – probably the largest thing to be built in Morvern since Ardtornish House in 1884. The water flows from dam down another penstock, generating a 69.5m head and up to 1500 kW of output at the Rannoch Power House.
In 2015 we completed another 800kW scheme, at Uileann in the White Glen. It catches water from three sources, but has no water storage capacity – so is known as a ‘run-of-river’ hydro. Like our others, it uses a turbine built by Gilkes of Kendal.
During 2016 we are building a fourth scheme – a low-head hydro, with an Archimedean screw turbine, at Achranich on the right back of the river Rannoch across from the main estate buildings.
Community Hydro Fund
We have established a local community fund generated by our Uileann Hydro Scheme. The aim is to assist the community to develop sustainably through charitable and community based initiatives. The committee panel is made up exclusively of Ardtornish Estate staff members, which will review applications and decide which projects to support.
We aim to enable diverse projects across a wide range of activities, including developing local assets, preserving the natural and built environment, providing recreational facilities and promoting educational experiences for the Morvern community.
We already pay benefits generated by Tearnait and Rannoch Hydro Schemes Morvern Community Trust (MCT). Ardtornish Estate was amongst the first private developers to commit to a scheme of this nature.
The application form and supporting guidance notes can be found by following the links below.
|Hydro Fund Grant Applications
|March 2016 – Burach Gaelic Choir – £250.00 to help towards their trip to the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland.
|April 2016 – £70 worth of Ardtornish Estate Meat given to Lochaline Primary School for the orienteering walk BBQ.
|June 2016 – £250.00 – Lochaline Primary School to help with the cost of yearly school trip.
|June 2016 – £250.00 – Room 13 – Artist workshop held in Ardtornish Gardens.
|June 2016 – £50 worth of Ardtornish Estate Meat given to Ardnamurchan High School for their open day.
|July 2016 – £50 worth of Ardtornish Estate Meat provided for auction at Morvern Games and Gala Week Multiple Sclerosis BBQ.
|September 2016 – £1152.50 to support Ardnamurchan Tourism Association (covering Morvern, Sunart, Moidart, Ardgour and Ardnamurchan) in the restructure of current website and rebranding.
|September – £250.00 – 3 Lochs Book and Arts Festival to sponsor Rahoy Resident Artist to attend an exhibition.