London-based Albion Community Power is to invest £4.8m into developing two new hydro-power projects in the Highlands.
The Liatre Burn and Abhainn Bruachaig schemes will together generate 2.8 GWh of renewable electricity per year – enough to power around 700 homes in total
Albion Community Power has secured investment from the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank and the Strathclyde and Greater Manchester council workers’ pension funds.
ACP is a power generation company that builds, controls and operates community-scale energy projects across the UK. Former Scottish Nuclear corporate lawyer Robert Armour is a non-exec director of Albion.
To date, Albion has committed £60 million to renewable energy assets, of which more than half – £35 million – is now generating energy.
The 500 kW high-head Liatre Burn scheme is located near Loch Mullardoch in Glen Cannich, about 20 miles south-west of Inverness whilst Bruachaig is a medium-head 500 kW run-of-river scheme located close to Kinlochewe in the western Highlands.
Construction of both projects is already underway with completion of the construction programme and commissioning of the schemes anticipated before the end of the year.
They are the third and fourth community-scale Scottish hydro projects that ACP is developing. Construction of the first two schemes – Chaorach, near Crianlarich (in partnership with Perth-based Green Highland Renewables) and River Arkaig, in Lochaber – is in advanced stages and both are expected to be fully commissioned by the end of Q3 2016.
Volker Beckers, Chairman Albion Community Power, said: “We are delighted to announce two new projects as we continue to invest in small-scale hydropower.
“ACP’s expertise in hydro-power combined and enhanced by local knowledge supports the government’s SME and local business campaign. 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.”
Ed Northam, Head of Investment Banking, UK Green Investment Bank, said: “Community-scale projects improve the efficiency of the network by generating electricity close to where customers need it.
“We believe that 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.”