Pollok House in line to be powered by water

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A new hydro electric scheme could soon be generating power for the tourist magnet Pollok House.

Sustainable Glasgow is drawing up plans for a micro hydro electric project in the southside’s Pollok Country Park that will generate sustainable energy by harnessing the power of the White Cart river.

Originally, the sawmill within the grounds had a wooden water wheel that was replaced in the late 19th century with turbines that generated electricity for Pollok House.

The proposal is not the only option. Another is to connect to the national grid, which would generate income for the council.

Installation of turbines and connection to Pollok House would cost around £250,000 at current prices but revenue from the sale of electricity, and the current Feed-in Tariff would equate to around more than £47,000 a year.

The museum, famous for housing the private Burrell collection, is due to close this year for a major five year refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen in 2020.

Glasgow city councillor for sustainability Alistair Watson said: “Harnessing the power of rivers to generate clean, sustainable energy is an exciting proposition for the city and this project is actually going back to the future, as tools in the sawmill were originally powered by a water wheel.

“The beauty of this type of scheme is that it can be done in harmony with the natural environment. We are testing the water with this micro scheme and, if successful, it could inspire more, larger scale hydro projects in the future.

“Sustainable Glasgow is adopting a wide range of energy efficiency and carbon reduction initiatives. Locally produced energy is key to improving the city’s resilience, as buildings are not dependent on the national grid. Sustainable and renewable energy projects also help reduce our carbon emissions as well as providing affordable heat and power for businesses and residents.”

Discussions are ongoing with NTS about the proposal and, if it goes ahead, a wildlife habitat survey will be conducted along the proposed connection route.