This exciting construction is the first of its kind on the Tweed river system and when running to maximum capacity can generate enough electricity to power 225 houses.
Two massive Archimedes Screw Turbines harness naturally occurring energy to produce electricity. Water is directed into the turbine causing the giant screws inside to rotate. This rotation turns, through a gearbox, a generator, which makes electricity. The power output is transferred to the national grid, which provides virtually every home in the U.K. with electricity. The installation of a new state of the art Larinier Salmon pass and a combined Eel, Lamprey and smolt chute beside the turbines allows the fish to ascend and descend the cauld.
The hydro station is only possible on this site due to the construction in 1854 by Sir John Murray of a ‘cauld’ or (dam) across the Ettrick Water, which forced water down the mill lade. The water turned huge wheels, which powered the sawmill and a Tweed mill near Selkirk. You can see the water wheel at the sawmill to this day but the machinery is now on the grid.
From the hydro station there is a lovely walk to the Meetings of the Rivers Ettrick and Yarrow. You can return to the Waterwheel Café through a woodland walk or carry on further to the Walled Garden and Selkirk Distillers.