Knoydart Energy Security

October 11, 2023
Project Management
Knoydart Hydro intake during refurbishment project

Knoydart Renewables was one of Energy Mutual’s first clients back in 2014 and many years later, the work remains both challenging and exciting.

Knoydart Renewables is a community-owned power utility company who owns and operates an islanded minigrid in the north west of Scotland. The minigrid consists of a 280kW hydropower system (installed in the 1970’s), fed from a large reservoir and 7km of 11kV distribution grid with 15 transformers and 100+ connected customers.

Energy Mutual has previously supported the company in managing dam improvement works in conjunction with civil engineering consultants as well as conducting general operations management activities on behalf of the company.

This new Energy Security Project was developed with the goal of replacing the old hydropower pipeline which had failed in 2017 with a better designed, buried pipeline. In parallel to the pipeline project, Knoydart Renewables required a modernisation of the hydro turbine’s mechanical and electrical system, allowing the community to realise the full power potential of its infrastructure, displace current fossil fuel use and foster economic and population growth.

Energy Mutual has acted as the company’s representative in managing applications for funding and contracting work-packages to specialist hydropower designers and electrical contractors.

This £2.7 million infrastructure improvement project began the development phase in 2019 and will conclude in Summer 2022. The project has been supported by Local Energy Scotland and the SSE Community Fund.

Knoydart Renewables would like to encourage companies and researchers to trial new energy products or services on their minigrid. Prior projects include: lithium-ion flow batteries, power line communication systems and smart storage heaters.

The minigrid can also provide a useful educational opportunity for university students and energy industry professionals to see the national grid in microcosm (generation, distribution, metering and billing). If interested in these opportunities, please contact

Kyle Smith
CEO @ Energy Mutual