Technology Group Voith has finished the modernization work of the small Scottish hydroelectric power station Mucomir.
Following commissioning in the autumn of 2017, the facility is now back on the grid. As well as enjoying improved cost efficiency, the plant now meets the strictest environmental standards.
The facility is operated by SSE, one of the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources.
For this project Voith was responsible for the new build, installation and commissioning of the turbine unit, installation of a control system, circuit breaker and hydraulic unit, and for refurbishing the generator.
“The modernization work was done during a shutdown, and because of the tight schedule, the fabrication and installation of the components were a major challenge,” explains Christian Merkl, Project Manager of Voith Hydro Germany. “However, thanks to our experience and our close cooperation with plant operator SSE, we were able to complete the project no less than three weeks ahead of schedule.”
Environmental standards substantially improved
After the upgrade, the Mucomir small hydropower plant meets stringent environmental standards. The special design of the new turbine runner reduces adverse effects on fish and makes it easier for them to pass through it. This means that SSE is taking regional fishery interests into account and acknowledging the importance of the power plant for migratory fish in the local catchment area. In addition, as part of the upgrade, oil and grease-free bearings were installed to avoid environmental damage.
Peter Diver, Programmes Manager at SSE, says of the project: “The modernization of the Mucomir hydropower plant ensures the commercial viability of the facility while taking account of ecological factors and using the most effective technological solution. We are delighted to have implemented this important project with Voith as our partner.”
Following the upgrade, the Mucomir plant qualifies for feed-in tariff – resulting in improved remuneration for the power station and was an important part of the business case, securing the station for the future.
As well as improved protection of fish and the environment, the use of ultra-modern developments in the hydraulic system also achieves greater efficiency. Moreover, the power plant is now equipped with a remote control system ensuring safe and efficient unmanned operation that also allows fast fault analysis where necessary.
Background information on the Mucomir small hydroelectric power station
The Mucomir small hydroelectric power station, which has been in operation since 1962, is part of the Great Glen Hydro Group and one of around 70 SSE hydropower plants in Scotland.
The importance of Hydropower
Renewable energy is undoubtedly the most sustainable answer to the rise in energy demand. Hydropower plays a key role in sustainable and environmentally friendly power generation and is the leading renewable source of electricity generation globally. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to a stable power supply and thus to economic and social development – both in industrialized countries and in regions seeing strong growth. Since the early days of hydropower exploitation, Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology and is constantly refining and improving it.