About Highland Eco Design
Founders and directors Jamie Wallace and Mick Bestwick were introduced through a shared interest for small-scale hydro, having simultaneously constructed their own micro-hydro projects. Their passion regarding micro-hydropower and a strong desire to enable a greater deployment of small turbines throughout Scotland resulted in the formation of Highland Eco-Design Ltd.
Since incorporation in 2009 Highland Eco-Design Ltd has successfully secured consents for almost 2 MW of micro-hydro capacity. We expect to have commissioned just over 1.1MW of capacity across 28 installations by the end of 2015.
We have many more schemes at various stages of development on our books ranging in capacity from 10 to 300 kW and have experience of working with all types of hydro turbines.
We are members of the British Hydropower Association and Scottish Renewables.
We have worked with, or are continuing to work with, a number of community groups including: Vision Golspie, Watten village hall community group, Margach hall committee, Applecross Community Company, Huntly Community Development Company, Transition Town Forres, Dunning Community Council, Strathaird Community Association, Galson Estate Trust and North Harris Trust.
We have worked closely with the authorities over the past 6 years as the water regulations have changed and evolved. As a result our design methodologies have been tailored to provide permittable systems. Our on-going relationship with SEPA officers across the country combined with our experience in securing abstraction licenses means that we can design an achievable scheme from the outset.
We recently completed the installation of a 9 kW hydro turbine at Grimshader just south of Stornoway after helping the croft owner, Kenny MacArthur, to build the scheme himself. We have an agreement with Mr Macarthur to employ him as our agent for day-to-day engagement with the community groups. Although this will be of limited value at the feasibility stage it will provide a much smoother communication route during permitting and construction as we will have a real presence in Stornoway.
Highland Eco-Design Ltd is a geographically distributed company of micro-hydro installers based throughout Scotland. Our long term aim is to find a sustainable method of working which meets the following goals:
- Empower communities and landowners to install micro-hydro turbines by providing cost-effective support for smaller schemes
- Utilise local trades and materials wherever possible
- Encourage the local benefits of micro-hydro systems through employment and on-going training of local agents and engineers
- Minimise the environmental impact of all aspects of hydro-power development.