Shane’s Castle Green Generation

Shane’s Castle on the shores of Lough Neagh near Randalstown in Co. Antrim is the family seat of the O’Neills of Clandeboy. The Demesne is one of the most beautiful and well maintained in Ireland with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including a lovely herd of fallow deer that have been resident there for many years. The Castle is in ruins due to a devastating fire in 1816 but the remaining structure, including a unique Camellia House designed by John Nash, is still a prominent feature in the landscape. A recent and fitting addition to the Demesne is an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine, ancient technology but with a 21st century application.

The O’Neill family are well known for their preservation and conservation and love of nature and the environment and this Archimedean Screw hydro project complements their environmental initiatives very well indeed. Rated at 214 kilowatts the hydro turbine is predicted to save an impressive 840 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2emissions annually by generating clean, green electricity and will make a major contribution to the Demesne’s green philosophy.

This project is a reinstatement of an old hydro system that was installed circa 1900 that was used to power the estate before mains electricity was introduced to Shane’s Castle in the 1950’s. The old system was capable of generating a maximum of about 55 kW so the new Archimedean Screw system, with its high efficiency across a wide range of flows, is capable of producing at least five times the amount of energy over the year.

The predicted annual output is a massive 1,300,000 kilowatt-hours. To put this in perspective, an average household uses less than 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, so this hydro scheme has the potential to power more than 260 houses in the locality.

The arrival!

Arriving on site

Almost 15m long the screw weighs approximately 35 tonnes

Offloading from the lorry

With a diameter of 3.5m this screw can take a flow rate of up to 5.5m3/s

The Archimedean Screw turbine provides a fish-friendly alternative to conventional turbines, ideally suited to low-head (1m-15m) sites, and sites with fish protection issues. Extensive fish passage tests have conclusively demonstrated that the large water chambers and slow rotation of the Archimedean Screw allow fish of all sizes, and debris, safe passage through the turbine.

As a result, the Environment Agency (UK) has agreed that no screening is required.Literally thousands of fish passages have been monitored and recorded using underwater cameras at the intake, inside the chamber of the Screw itself and at the outflow to assess the effect of the Screw on salmonids (including smolts and kelts), brown trout and eels.

The trials looked at fish passage across a broad spectrum of sizes and turbine speeds, possibly the most impressive of which was the safe passage of a kelt measuring 98cm in length and weighing 7.6kg. In addition, behavioural and migrational patterns across the species have been shown to be entirely unaffected by the turbine.

Screw is installed at an angle of 26deg. in this channel

Moving into position

In situ

A lifetime of clean, green generation ahead


Fish pass installed along side the Screw


Completed project


The scheme was designed by Hydroplan and the Archimedean Screw equipment was supplied by Mann Power Consulting based in Yorkshire. Mann Power are the pioneers of the Archimedean Screw in the UK and Ireland and Eco Evolution based in Co. Wexford are their authorised representative for the whole of Ireland. This Hydro project at Shane’s Castle is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and rated at 214 kilowatts this is the largest single Archimedean Screw generator ever manufactured. Eco Evolution and Mann Power installed the massive machine at Shane’s Castle earlier this year. The scheme was commissioned during the summer and it is now fully operational.


Shane’s Castle Worksheet






The first ever Renewable Energy Camp to be run in Ireland

The first ever Renewable Energy Biz Camp organised by The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency is being held on 27th May in Hotel Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny. This, not to be missed completely FREE event,  is being organised to promote businesses ideas / innovation and job creation in the Green Energy Sector.

The camp is an information sharing event where experienced entrepreneurs and businesses network and share experiences on developing business ideas & products. The EnergyCamp is an ideal opportunity for individuals / companies wishing to branch into the energy sector and learn form experienced entrepreneurs.

The EnergyCamp is an opportunity for individuals and companies to share information and advise. If you would like to contribute and share your information just register your interest by clicking the box on the Registration Form.

The day kicks off at 10am when the first 3 speakers will start their presentations. There will be 3 streams of speakers running concurrently and each will have a 45 minute slot. The only rule of the day is “no sales pitches” – thus avoiding the traditional pain of conference attendance where speakers stand in front of an audience and try to sell to them.

Current topics include:

  • The story of a Wind Farm Development
  • The challenges in setting up an Anaerobic Digestion project
  • Diversifying your business into the energy sector
  • International standard ISO 14064 for carbon management
  • Community consultation & green energy
  • Archimedean Screw – hydro turbine overview

There will be a panel discussion in the afternoon to finish off the days events. The topic for the panel discussion is “Job Creation & Opportunities in the Green Energy Sector”.  This an opportunity for everyone involved during the day to participate in a lively discussion. If you are interested in participating and sharing your business experience in the green energy sector, please register your interest here along with topic to be discussed.

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) is the main sponsor and promoter of the event. KLP was was formed in 2008 as a result of the government’s decision to integrate the functions and missions of local development companies operating in the rural development and social inclusion sectors.

KLP is now continuing its work through the Rural Development Programme LEADER, Local Community and Development Programme and other supporting programmes in empowering local communities to improve their quality of life. This support comes in variety of ways including grant aid to innovative rural business and communities and development officer support to disadvantaged or marginalised communities and individuals.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event please register your interest here.  Sponsorship will allow your companys logo to be displayed on this website and on event literature. There will be a limited number of sponsors.