Albion Community Power has committed £4.8 million to the development of two new hydropower projects in the Scottish Highlands.
Two small hydro projects at Liatre Burn on the Glen Cannich estate and Abhainn Bruachaig, near Kinlochewe, will generate approximately 2.8 GWh of renewable electricity per year, enough power to supply 700 homes. Both projects are run-of-river schemes, now under construction with completion expected before the end of the year. ACP is also involved in the construction of two more schemes – Chaorach, near Crianlarich, and River Arkaig, in Lochaber – which are in the advanced stages of construction and should be fully commissioned by the end of the third quarter of 2016.
Albion Community Power, which is developing the projects, has secured investment from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), Strathclyde Pension Fund and Greater Manchester Pension Fund. The company builds, controls and operates community-scale energy projects across the UK.
“We are delighted to announce two new projects as we continue to invest in small-scale hydropower” said Volker Beckers, Chair at ACP. “Hydropower, the oldest renewable technology, has a proven track record of generating strong and stable returns for investors. Institutional demand for community-scale renewable energy continues to grow and ACP is well placed to benefit from this trend. We look forward to working on both schemes, as well as developing a further pipeline of projects.”
Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking at GIB, added that community-scale projects improve the efficiency of the network by generating electricity close to where customers need it. Decentralised schemes like Liatre Burn and Bruachaig are an important part of the energy mix and have a significant role to play in increasing security of supply, reducing costs and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.