Winning pupil and name announced for new hydroelectric scheme

Grace - P7 pupil - stands in car park, wearing a hi-vis vest and hard hat, proudly shows off poster.
Grace Mackenzie, P7 pupil at Milton of Leys Primary, with winning poster.

Hydro Ness has been announced as the official name for the new hydroelectric scheme being built on the banks of the River Ness. Grace Mackenzie, a pupil at Milton of Leys Primary School, submitted the winning name and poster.

Grace was informed of her achievement during a visit to the construction site earlier today, she said: “I am really excited that my poster won the competition, we loved learning about the Hydro in class and designing the posters. We can’t wait to visit the Hydro Ness when it is open!”.

The Highland Council with the support of Science Skills Academy, launched the competition in October 2021 which asked pupils to design a poster and think up a name which captures the main themes of Hydro project.

The Council’s Executive Chief Officer of Infrastructure, Environment and Economy, Malcolm Macleod said: “We are delighted to announce Grace as the winner of the naming competition. Inspiring future generations is a key element of this project and we are thrilled with the creativeness displayed by all the pupils who took part in the competition. This competition not only aimed to find a timeless name for the scheme but an imaginative poster which is captured perfectly by Grace’s submission.”

Inverness South Ward Councillors Carolyn Caddick, Ken Gowans, Andrew Jarvie and Duncan Macpherson said: “We would like to offer a big congratulations to Grace for crafting the winning name and poster! The Council received over 100 submissions from schools across Highland showcasing the talent of young people in the region. Grace should be very proud of her fantastic achievement."

Chair of the Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: “When it is complete, the Hydro Ness will act as a “live” STEM learning hub, presenting a unique opportunity for Highland students to access and appreciate small scale ‘run of the river’ hydro, and learn how green, sustainable engineering can applied in life. A big well done and congratulations to Grace for her excellent name and poster.”

Science Skills Academy Project Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Emma Robertson said: “The hydroelectric scheme is an innovative project that provides an excellent opportunity for young people to learn about renewable energy generation while demonstrating career opportunities and pathways. Our congratulations to Grace for submitting the winning name and poster.”

As well as the privilege of naming the unique, landmark attraction, the winning pupil will receive a complimentary activity for the entire class provided by one of the projects key partners, High Life Highland.

Chief Executive of High Life Highland, Steve Walsh said: “Inspiring future generations and promoting sustainability are key priorities for High Life Highland, so we are absolutely delighted to be involved in this project and I am really excited for Grace and the wider public to visit Inverness Leisure Centre and see the site benefitting from the renewable electricity generated from Hydro Ness.”

The top 10 submissions were announced in November to mark the end of COP26. The posters are displayed at the construction site of the Hydro to help inform the public and keep the builders inspired.

Group photograph

Back row (L-R): Martin MacDonald (Project Manager), Malcolm Macleod (ECO Infrastructure, Environment & Economy), Allan Henderson (Construction Project Manager), Robert Gill (Head Teacher for Milton of Leys Primary School), Rebecca Williamson (Class Teacher at Milton of Leys Primary).

Front Row (L-R): Abby Still (Top 10 finalist; Milton of Leys Primary), Lucy Beastall (Top 10 finalist; Milton of Leys Primary), Grace Mackenzie (Winner; Milton of Leys Primary).


3 Feb 2022