Beckside, Whicham, Millom, Cumbria LA18 5LU

01229 772298

Hydro Electric Projects

Since 2011 Beckside Construction has successfully installed 6 Hydro Electric schemes with a 7th currently under construction.  The schemes are located in Cumbria and North Yorkshire and range from the smallest at 87kW to the largest at 250kW.

Tongue Gill hydro Scheme

Site: Tongue Gill, Grasmere

Construction timeline: 2013-2014
Location: Lake District
Turbine: Gilkes 13.5 Turgo
Generator: 3 phase
Intake type: Coanda Screen
Gross head: 71.5 m
Catchment area: Max turbine flow: 215 litres/s
Max output: 100 kW
Pipeline length: 600 m

Tongue Gill Hydro Electric Scheme Intake, Cumbria

Construction work started on Tongue Gill Hydro Scheme in May 2013 and was completed in 2014. Part of the Penstock and the powerhouse for the Tongue Gill Scheme run alongside the Wainwrights’ Coast to Coast footpath and as part of the construction process we also had to cross the Thirlmere aqueduct which provides water to Manchester. Both of which provided different challenges during construction which were successfully overcome.

Tongue Gill Hydro Electric Power House, Cumbria

Two years after the completion of the Tongue Gill Hydro Scheme you would not know we had been there. The landscape has returned to a lush green state and the powerhouse nestles into the banking clad in local stone that was broken out of the hole during its construction.

Due to the large catchment area for rainfall for the Tongue Gill Scheme the generator is normally generating to its full capacity, with it switching off only in the driest periods. Since completion Tongue Gill Hydro Scheme has produced over 640,000 kWh.

Cragdale Hydro Scheme

Site: Cragdale Hydro Scheme, Marsett

Construction timeline: 2014
Location: North Yorkshire
Gross head:
Pipeline length: 700 m
Pipe Diameter: 500mm and 450mm

For the Cragdale Hydro Scheme, Beckside Construction were contracted in to install the Penstock section of the scheme. The penstock was originally planned to be installed fully in plastic pipe, however due to the unstable nature of the ground that the pipeline was being installed in a drag box had to be utilised which resulted in a shift from plastic pipe to ductile iron pipe for a section of the Penstock.



Site: Mossdale Head Farm

Construction timeline: Nov 2014 – March 15
Location: Hawes, North Yorkshire
Turbine: Ecowave Crossflow
Generator: 8 pole split phase induction
Intake type: Coanda Screen
Gross head: 32m
Catchment area: 8.12km2
Max turbine flow: 472 litres/s
Max output: 99kW
Pipeline length: 270m
Pipe Diameter: 560mm

Mossdale hydro electric scheme penstock pipe

Construction started on the Mossdale Hydro Scheme in May 2014. For a High Head Micro Hydro the Mossdale Scheme has a relatively low head of only 32m. Because of this it requires a greater volume of water to achieve the same power output of some of the higher head schemes. To get the higher volume of water the Mossdale scheme has a pipe diameter of 560mm which is the largest diameter penstock that Beckside Construction has installed to date. In contrast Mossdale also has an extremely large catchment area for rainfall which helps to achieve the large levels of water needed to drive the turbine.

Stickle Ghyll

Site: Stickle Ghyll, Langdale

Construction timeline: 2014 - 2015
Location: Lake District
Turbine: Gilkes Turgo 13.5”
Generator: 122kVA Induction
Intake type: Coanda Screen
Gross head: 77m
Catchment area:2.4km2
Max turbine flow: 184 litres/s
Max output: 99kW
Pipeline length:160m
Pipe Diameter: 400mm HDPE and Ductile Iron

Stickle Ghyll Hydro electric scheme Intake.jpg

The Stickle Ghyll Hydro Scheme is the first Hydro Scheme that Beckside Construction have built in conjunction with the National Trust.

stickle ghyll hydroelectric-scheme pipe welding

The National Trust have set themselves a target to be generating 50% of their energy demand from renewable energy by 2020, and the Stickle Ghyll Hydro scheme is part of that plan.

The power generated by Stickle Ghyll will be used to power the adjacent Stickle Barn Pub with surplus supplied to the grid.

Bolton Hall Hydro Scheme

Site: Bolton Hall, Wensley

Construction timeline: Feb 2015 – November 2015
Location: North Yorkshire
Turbine: 10” Gilkes Turgo
Intake type: Coanda Screen
Gross head:100 m
Catchment area:
Max turbine flow:
Max output: 99kW
Pipeline length: 1500m
Pipe Diameter: 400mm HDPE

bolton hall hydro electric scheme powerhouse

Work on the Bolton Hall Hydro Scheme commenced in February 2015. One of the challenges with the Bolton Hall Scheme was the location of the penstock which involved crossing 2 roads and the Wensleydale Railway. The crossing of the railway was the first task in the scheme which involved open cutting a concrete pipe under the railway to install the penstock pipe in at a later date. This had to be completed in a two week window in February.

Hayeswater Hydro Scheme

Site: Patterdale

Construction timeline: 2015/2016
Location: Lake District
Turbine: Hydrolite Twin 125kW Turgo twin jet
Intake type: Coanda Screen
Gross head: 185m
Catchment area: 3.1km2
Max turbine flow: 160 litre/s
Max output: 250kW
Pipeline length: 1200m
Pipe Diameter: 400mm Ductile Iron

The Hayeswater Hydro Scheme is one of the highest head schemes that Beckside Construction have been involved in to date.  Work started on the scheme in July 2015 but was halted in December due to Storm Desmond which caused significant flooding in the local village of Glenridding.  Beckside Construction were one of the first contractors on the ground after the flooding and were heavily involved in the clean-up operation and helping Glenridding get back on its feet.  Work recommenced in February 2016 and we were able to utilise some of the stone moved by the storm as pipe bedding and as stone cladding for the powerhouse.  The Hayeswater Scheme is unique as it has two turgo turbines both with twin jets which give a 250kW output.  The scheme was commissioned in December 2016 and has generated over 1 million kWh of electricity in its first year.  

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