Silent Valley Hydro Electric Power Scheme

Doran Consulting was employed by Highland Light & Power (NI) Ltd to undertake the feasibility, detailed design, contract administration and site supervision for a 415kW hydro electric power installation at Silent Valley.

The scheme consisted of the construction of 1,150m of high pressure underground pipeline from the upper Ben Crom Dam to the site of the lower Silent Valley reservoir turbine house. A cable run for connection to the local NIE grid was also provided. The water was used to power a turbine prior to being discharged into the lower reservoir.

The power generated is supplied to the NIE power grid.

The whole scheme is fully automated and the duration of generation is dependant on the water levels in both Silent Valley reservoir and Ben Crom dams.

The feasibility study involved modelling of the available water to meet the conflicting demands of the power station and the water supply reservoirs which supply a substantial portion of Belfast. The dam water levels had to be maintained within prescribed limits which varied throughout the year and the viability of the power station thus determined.

A additional notable point in relation to this project was the need to preserve the natural beauty of an extremely popular tourist attraction.