Energise Galashiels Hydro

Project lead: Gala Water and Mill Lades Society

Area: Scottish Borders

Main technology: Restoration of lades and low-head hydro

Grant awarded: £1,519,300

 Project summary

This project is seeking to restore a number of sites in the Galashiels water lades. Developed in the Victorian period as a number of mills throughout the town, the sites were removed and are no longer used for any purpose.

The Gala Water project aims to restore these sites, using a low-head hydro technology to demonstrate the potential for hydro sites across Scotland's lades. Working on a number of sites throughout the town, the project will offer cultural and historical value to the town, as well as exploring a community share offer opportunity to fund the capital expense of the technology.

What makes this project innovative?

Most hydro sites require a high head to be economically viable - meaning sites are often hard to find, and not usually in urban environments. The Galashiels project is using low-head hydro technology, which uses a system of hydraulic rams and internal floats to create electricity. The environmentla and visual impact of the scheme is less than other hydro technologies, posing an exciting opportunity for Scotland's many lades.

The sites are right in the centre of Galashiels, meaning that local residents and tourists alike can see the project and connect with the energy generated, as well as with the rich cultural history of the area.


The Gala Water project is not currently progressing through the Local Energy Challenge Fund, and we are working with the project team to find the correct support for delivery.