A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

After the trot about the Hill above the farm with a potential contractor the main thing I learnt was how much I did not know about hydro schemes. Although to be fair it was more the micro managing I was learning about today. Fascinating to see how it is seen by a contractor who visualizes the end result and works out how it will be put together, from bends in the road, to access, to putting material to where it should be and how much, accommodation and who does what to whom. Our visitor, after a chat at the Inn with Alison headed up to the turbine site


and after viewing the new sink hole,


a little disturbingly near to where the turbine will be situated, we went up to the Pen Stock site






taking in all potential problems on the way. I did not help by going too near the river bed and so went up the steepest part of the slope. The pipe line being further to the north, there is far gentler inclines and peat rather than rock for the pipe.


Reckoned I had made an error at the time so on the way down this was corrected and the slopes were modified.


The weather was atrocious and took a few photos of the Bay to show the grey, windy and wet day.




But still exciting that we are moving on and getting closer to creating something special.


Nerve wracking as well because after a day like today we know how much work will be involved. Today I could visualise the finished article, it still may not happen who knows, but it will not be through lack of effort. The figures quoted off the top of the contractors head was similar to expected costs and a lot will depend on funding for the private wire scheme as that is essential for the go ahead to qualify for the FITs. Also how successful the share issue will be to raise finance to cut back on the proposed IPS loan. Dougal and Eilidh are going to be keen observers of the project although I suspect the weather got to himself a little as he has not left the fire since.


So a scalding hot shower after stopping for a bowl of soup for lunch and a Filling Station dip and finally got some warmth back into the limbs. Little bit of paperwork as that has to be maintained and back on the bike for the Inn. Did not last long and asked off as the staff were out numbering the customers. Started tidying up the world map so you can see Europe and intend to put a European inset as they keep complaining they could not see their own countries being represented as visiting the Inn. But you can only do that for so long and it was home to do more constructive work on the VAT front and get the last papers ready for Thursday Inverness trip, oh and a couple of episodes of House.

The world still turns and it affects you, what can one say that makes any sense of wanton acts of violence. At what point do you lose your sense of humanity and carry out acts that have been perpetrated in Paris. Politicians seem to use the “Thin Red Line” to distance themselves from the actual brutality of war and use arguments that we need to defend concepts so have others to kill in their name but to actually carry them out…. Even living in the remote north-west without a telly and a disdain for media presentation you can only wonder about how far one can sink and try to justify it as well. A disturbing potential reaction is the growing support for the far right/anti-immigration/anti integration guys who will now be jumping up and down saying I told you so. Sometimes you feel like jumping off.

Just got the power back on after almost two days in the dark and storm force winds. So that and the Inverness trip next.

Comments on: "On the Hill with a Hydro Man." (2)

  1. Simon & Jo said:

    We’ve seen one of these schemes in action at Langdale in the Lake District, run by the National Trust. It’s amazing how little impact on the beauty of the area there is & it appears to be doing the job very well. I managed to Google up a video of it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ0T1w0Kvxs .

    Good luck with it. I’m all in favour of these small hydro schemes.


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Simon. All you will see after a couple of years will be a stone building that will look like a small barn and a small tail race. Everything else will be under ground and grown over. Lots of potential for clean energy all over the country and has the added incentive of leaving fossil fuels in the ground. Have a good new year both you and Jo.

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