Scottish Water has begun construction on a pioneering hydro energy generation scheme at Whiteadder Reservoir in East Lothian. With an investment of £3 million, this project aims to reduce carbon emissions and generate green energy. The unique aspect of this scheme is the use of a siphon, making it the first of its kind in Europe.
The siphon technology allows water to be drawn up through the intake and over the top of the dam, running through a hydro turbine and then returning to the natural environment. This enables Scottish Water to produce renewable energy while also effectively controlling the reservoir’s water level during seasonal weather fluctuations, eliminating the need for significant civil engineering works.
The electricity generated by the scheme will offset 30% of the power used by Hungry Snout, one of East Lothian’s largest pumping stations. This station supplies Castle Moffat Water Treatment Works, which serves most of the region. By reducing carbon emissions from the pumping station, the investment at Whiteadder is estimated to save approximately 111 tons of carbon annually. Additionally, the hydro energy generation scheme is expected to generate 0.82 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy per year from its 199 kilowatt turbine.
The project is being delivered by renewable energy specialists Emtec Energy in collaboration with Aecom and Ossberger. Neil Beaumont, Senior Project Manager at Scottish Water, highlighted the importance of accurately measuring and controlling reservoir levels, given the fluctuating seasonal conditions in Scotland. The selected equipment includes smart controls and sensors that can withstand adverse weather conditions, ensuring the responsible extraction of water from the reservoir.
Gordon Reid, General Manager of Scottish Water Net Zero, emphasized the company’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and utilizing renewable power from their reservoir assets. With over thirty hydro turbines already installed, the use of this novel siphon technology is an exciting development for Scottish Water. This project aligns with their ambitious sustainability goals.
By investing in innovative projects like this hydro energy generation scheme, Scottish Water aims to lower the carbon footprint of the local water supply and contribute to a greener grid in Scotland.
– New Civil Engineer