Project lead: Energise Galashiels Trust

Local Energy Challenge Fund award amount: £24,000, feasibility funding

Area: Scottish Borders


This phase 1 project will assess the feasibility of installing a series of low-impact hydro-electric generators on the Gala Water and its historic mill lades which run through the town of Galashiels.

This will include consideration of an incipient, ultra-low-head technology, the Water Engine, which could revolutionise micro hydro generation. The system will provide power to nearby premises and offset some of the electricity used within the town, with the aim to aggregate about 400kW of installed power. The project will confirm the feasibility of each potential site and identify the most appropriate technologies to deploy.


This project seeks to demonstrate the significant hydro potential of rivers and other waterways typical of the region which to date have not been captured successfully because of their relatively low head height. As part of the strategy to unlock the potential of low head water courses, this project proposes to use an innovative hydro generation technology, the Water Engine, which once proven could be applied to many other waterways in the region and indeed around the world.

The project was selected as a Local Energy Challenge Fund capital demonstration project, but was unable to progress.

View the information sheet and read the final project report.


Skinworks Cauld on the Gala Water
Skinworks Cauld on the Gala Water


A wheelpit on the town lade
A wheelpit on the town lade