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It weighs 25 tonnes and is nearly 30ft long…Meet Aberdeen’s new UK record-breaker

The Archimedes screw turbine in Aberdeen
The Archimedes screw turbine in Aberdeen

A record-breaking Archimedes screw turbine has arrived on-site and been installed as part of the £1.2million Donside Hydro scheme taking shape in Tillydrone, Aberdeen.

The huge piece of machinery weighs 25 tonnes and is nearly 30ft long and more than 15ft wide.

It is believed to be the largest diameter screw ever installed in the UK.

Designed by ManPower Consulting and manufactured in the Netherlands by Landustrie Sneek, the water-transferring turbine began its journey to Aberdeen on Friday and arrived, with a police escort, at the site at about 10pm on Sunday.

It is one of several items of technical kit worth around £340,000 that were moved into position yesterday.

The 100 kilowatt screw and other essential pieces of key equipment including a gear box, generator and debris protection screen will be housed in a structure that was recently re-designed because of flooding in the area last winter.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Community Energy (Ace) – a community benefit society set up by Donside Community Association in 2004 to build, own and operate the hydro scheme – said yesterday it was close to achieving its £500,000 local fundraising target.

Ace founding director Sinclair Laing added: “We’ve passed a number of exciting milestones, as the project has developed, but seeing the kit arrive for installation has really brought it all to life.

“To say the community is excited to see the technology in front of us, rather than in plans, would be an understatement.

“With the community share offer already nearing its £500,000 target and the installation of the kit, we are very much edging closer to a fully operational, community-owned hydro in the heart of Aberdeen.”

On track to complete construction and start generating electricity by the end of the month, the project will create income for the local community by selling clean, renewable-electricity to the national grid.

It is expected to generate many thousands of pounds a year for a community fund and enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 130 homes annually.

Investors ploughing cash into the community share initiative have been promised a 7% return, although they may have to keep their money in the scheme for up to 20 years.

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