Funding the Ciste Redevelopment Project + Providing a Guaranteed Cash Flow: we propose a small-scale Hydro-Electric Scheme in Coire na Ciste which will have a calculated minimum income of £68,320 per annum [at 2012 figures]. This forms part of our phased plans, which will see the redevelopment project partially self-funded.
More detail can be found on our page.
The potential for hydro power on the Allt na Ciste had previously been investigated in a consultancy report prepared by John Duncanson Engineering Ltd in 2012. We hold documented evidence from the 1990’s [not made available to the consultant] that burn flow rates are greater than the 2012 hydrological desk study suggested, which would increase energy produced – and therefore income – to above the 2012 estimations.
The micro dam at the water intake will be carefully planned and managed to not adversely effect either the Ciste Gully ski run, or the safety of skiers in the area. Indeed a direct benefit to snowsports users it is that the hydro scheme will by reducing flows in the Allt na Ciste reduce melt of the snow from below by the running water. This will therefore increase both the length of snow lie in the Ciste Gully and lower the elevation at which skiable snow builds in any given season. This will therefore extend the length of the ski season.
This benefit can be extended by the provision of a tail race pipe which puts the water back into the Allt na Ciste at Carpark Level during the snowsports season, while allowing water to be returned nearer the turbine house in summer. The combination of reduced flow in the Allt na Ciste and Snow Making has the provision to make skiing to the Ciste Carpark via the Lower Aonach and Lower Ciste Gully a regular feature through the core of the snowsports season, providing huge operational benefits for the operating company and much greater customer satisfaction.
The turbine house itself will be of an environmentally sensitive design, partly built into the hillside. It will also include a small viewing gallery and environmental education centre, as well as a food & drink servery and ski school meeting point, by a proposed dedicated learning zone on the floor of the lower reaches of Coire na Ciste. A learning zone that would be far more sheltered than any existing area on the mountain used for teaching new comers to skiing and snowboarding.
We’re pretty excited about the possibilities here. Look out for more from the ‘Save the Ciste’ Development Action Group in this coming Thursday’s (25 January) Strathspey & Badenoch Herald. In the meantime, don’t forget to like and share, and let us know what you think! Also a reminder that our e-petition is still running, in which you can show your support: www.savetheciste.com
Map image Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014