Project lead: Energise Galashiels Trust

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

Area: Scottish Borders


Energise Galashiels Trust is a community group that aims to encourage regeneration and development within Galashiels. The group developed a Zero-Carbon Strategy in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. This Energise Galashiels Local Energy Challenge Fund project was part of this zero carbon vision.

Project aims and objectives

a hydroelectric scheme at Galashiels

The Energise Galashiels project aimed to unlock the potential of the energy held in the waterways in the Borders, aiming to revive the caulds and mill lades of the Gala Water as an energy source for Galashiels.

A key challenge is that the energy potential of rivers throughout the area can be difficult to capture; they have relatively low water head heights and there is a lack of suitable technology to use in these circumstances.

The Trust planned to use the Local Energy Challenge Fund funding to assess the feasibility of using a low-impact, innovative hydro generation technology called ‘the Water Engine’ as a solution to this challenge, which could revolutionise micro hydro generation. The system would 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 aimed to confirm the feasibility of each potential site and identify the most appropriate technologies to deploy.

The project could provide a demonstrator that, if successful, may be applicable to many other waterways in the town, across the Borders and in other areas of Scotland.

the hydroelectric scheme at Galashiels


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

View the project information sheet and read the technical specification report.