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01 Sep 17

On to the intake

August has shown all the hallmarks of a typical British summer; wet and wetter still. This has made conditions on Greenburn challenging. Undeterred, progress continues to be made at the intake, as evidenced by the not-so-insignificant hole we now have there. Excavators have pecked out the bedrock to create the area where the main chamber will sit next to the intake. Water will flow from the beck into this chamber, via the intake, before it travels down the 1.2km pipe to the powerhouse. Joiners are currently building the timber shuttering for the chamber framework, into which concrete will be poured to form the structure. It sits below the ground surface and so eventually will be completely obscured from view.

Bedrock excavations for the chamber and intake

21 Aug 17

Follow the planned diversion

This stage of the project sees the proper ground work begin. Last week the beck was diverted so work could start in the riverbed. This allows us to form the intake structure for the hydro in the dry river bed, without introducing silt into the beck. The river diversion removes the water from the stream and the waterproof lining prevents water leaking back in to the intake. There are also two pumps on site to remove any water which doesn't get captured by the diversion. The newly created beck is already silting up in places and establishing itself as a steam; it’s amazing how nature quickly finds a way to settle back down.

Landscape showing the old course of Greenburn beck and the new diversion

07 Aug 17

Through the wind and rain

The team have at last dried out after a wet and hectic week of heli lifts, flying all of the pipework into the valley. In total we flew 95 pipes onto the site over 2 days of activity, despite the weather doing its best to disrupt our schedule. At times strong winds, rain and low cloud all conspired against us (even leaving the ranger team abandoned on the hill at one stage) and so when gaps in the weather appeared the crews at either end had their work cut out, preparing loads to be lifted onto site every 8 minutes. To see an advancing helicopter flying up Greenburn dwarfed by the length of its load is quite a sight.