It is now one week before the due date for the Hydro to be completed. We have been informed, however, that because the turbine is connected to the grid, and has actually been run (even though for a very short period of time) this constitutes “commissioned” and therefore the level of the fit tariff is already confirmed at the higher rate. If this is the case this is good news for the village getting their money because it means that any further delays to actually producing electricity are immaterial. Whether it is equally good for the taxpayer who has to fork out for all this is an interesting point though.
The sound monitoring plan has now been produced (so has the path restoration plan but I haven’t seen a copy of it yet) and I have attached a copy to this post. The Inveronich Residents association have accepted the general principal, but objected to the location chosen for the monitoring because it is not in line with what was actually agreed in the planning consent. So this has been sent back to the planners with this point as a comment.
Walking down the path this morning, I noticed that the turbine was running. This was the first time I had heard it and it was pretty loud. I took some readings and at the pump house it was over 73db, and at the current location of the sound monitoring kit it was 65db. By way of comparison, I also measured the level on the bridge over the Donich which came in at 60db. This is all very crude because it was measured with a phone – but it does indicate that the turbine was making a significant noise over that of the river. It was definitely audible from Inveronich Cottage. I have asked HydroPlan for their comments on this – I will presume that it just means they have more work to do on the soundproofing.
Aside from that, the area at the bottom has now been covered in stones and is no longer a sea of mud. They have also tidied up a lot, including making a big pile of all the signs which were used to show the path closure. I’m hoping that very soon we can draw a line under all of this and the area will return to peace and quiet, with any wildlife scared off by the construction returning, and the destroyed vegetation growing back.