The ability for landowners to sell electricity back to the UK National Grid through the generation of their own sources of electricity has opened up a wide range of opportunities for UK landowners. Frank Spencer-Nairn, 3rd generation owner of the Culligran estate in Scotland is one owner grasping the opportunity by building his own Hydro Power facility.
The 700kW Neaty Hydro Power facility is in a remote area of Scotland and the project team quickly realised that they would need a special type of communications solution at the site for the construction and ongoing operation of the business.
“It has been a challenge for me ever since I inherited the estate to try and make it as self sufficient and viable as possible,” said Frank Spencer-Nairn. “So when the opportunity came along to invest in mini hydro, I grabbed it with both hands.”
The site secured planning permission for the project at the beginning of 2013. Construction started in August 2013 and work was completed in Sept 2014.
“It became apparent very early on in the project that it would be absolutely vital to have internet and telephone communications at this remote site,” said Frank. “During the construction phase, we needed communications to enable the contractors to be able to communicate with the consultants and engineers, so that they could send drawings back and forwards. It was also an important Health and Safety requirement that there was communications on site in case of an accident.”
During the one-year construction phase, the engineers used a Eutelsat satellite broadband communications link installed on top of the site cabins for internet access, data communications and IP telephone communications.
Once completed, the Eutelsat solution was moved to a permanent position, where it is now used to provide communications for the operation of the facility. The Eutelsat broadband solution was installed by Internet Anywhere, which specialises in establishing communications in remote locations.
“When we were first asked to survey the site, we realised just how remote it was,” explained John Fitzgerald, Managing Director at Internet Anywhere. “Satellite was the only option and is one of the few technologies that is environmentally friendly and that can be installed anywhere as long as we have a clear line of sight.”
“The solution enables people to be able to operate with high-speed broadband using the Eutelsat KA-SAT satellite, which resides over Europe. The system offers up to 20Mbps download and up to 6Mbps upload speeds, which is ample for most people to do whatever they need and ideal for this site.”
“At this particular location, the powerhouse is almost eight miles off of the main road and to get a traditional landline would have required a vast amount of money and digging to put a cable in place. Satellite is working here very successfully with a VoIP telephone service and we can also install a camera for remote viewing and security if required. It just shows that satellite can do all the things that a traditional copper and fibre line can do.”
Now you can use internet everywhere with the help of Eutelsat Broadband’s satellite internet connection. It is the perfect broadband for business as it gives you excellent speed and can be easily accessible even in remote areas, as it has helped this hydel power project.