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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Hydro Ness Project Commended With Merit at Prestigious National Steel Awards 

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Highland Council’s renewable energy installation, Hydro Ness, has been commended with a Merit from judges at the prestigious, national Structural Steel Design Awards 2022.

The Archimedes Screw installation on the banks of the River Ness in Inverness was shortlisted for the main awards earlier this year.

This year marks the 54th Structural Steel Design Awards (SSDA), jointly sponsored by BCSA and Trimble Solutions (UK) Ltd.

The winners were announced at a ceremony in London at the end of September and Hydro Ness today received notification of its Merit.

Chair of Highland Council’s Climate Change Committee, Cllr Karl Rosie said:

“Of course it would have been nice to win the top award, but the fact Hydro Ness has been recognised with a Merit shows what a great example of sustainability and innovation the installation is.

“This recognition will help enhance the profile of Hydro Ness and help champion ambitious, green, self-supply energy opportunities, as well as support and encourage positive change.”

Chair of Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans, said:

“Hydro Ness was designed with sustainability in mind and its low carbon steel structure is a great example of how construction can help us meet the demands of the climate emergency and our move to achieve net zero emissions by 2025.”

Hydro Ness was also short-listed as a finalist for The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards and as a finalist in the Highlands & Islands Renewable Energy Awards 2022.

Hydro Ness will generate and supply over 500,000 kwh of green electricity annually to the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre – this will offset the organisations reliance on grid supplied electricity and also help reduce the councils carbon footprint.

The scheme is expected to reduce carbon emissions by over 140,000 kg per annum.

This is also strengthened using natural resources in the form of an historically and ecologically important river. 

The project was delivered by Highland Council, with support from architects Leslie Hutt Architect, structural engineers Hasson Engineering Solutions, steelwork contractors M.Hasson and Sons Ltd., and the main contractors Bradley and Company, Hydro NI.

The judges commented:

“This unusual steel structure houses a small hydroelectric unit producing renewable energy and providing school children with a practical educational opportunity.

“Its eye-catching form is of a leaping salmon with stainless steel perforated panels representing fish scales on an arched skeleton.

“A small but significant project demonstrating the versatility of steel.”

Also included in the Merit’s notes, the judges said:

“The safe, accurate completion of Hydro Ness illustrates the quality, versatility, and efficiency of structural steel and is a tribute to the skill of the steelwork contractor, working closely with the architect, the engineer, and the main contractor to deliver what it is hoped will become an iconic and renowned symbol of Inverness, worthy of its stunning Highland setting.”

Highland Council partnered with the Science Skills Academy (SSA) which delivers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities to school pupils from across the Highlands of Scotland.

The Hydro Ness scheme offers a unique and accessible opportunity for young people to visit and better understand key STEM skills and learning in practice.

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