Scottish hydro specialists Green Highland Renewables has commissioned a 750kW hydro scheme at Allt Choire a’ Bhalachain on the south side of Loch Garry – the firm’s 15th completed project in the Highlands.
The switch-on of the £3 million scheme means the company has now delivered more than 10MW of completed hydro developments – providing enough energy to power around 8,000 homes.
Allt Choire a’ Bhalachain is one of two projects in the immediate area being developed by Green Highland Renewables on land managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland. The other scheme – a 1.3MW development at Allt Ladaidh – is due to be commissioned next year.
For this scheme the local community will receive an annual royalty in addition to the industry-standard community benefit of £5,000 per MW per annum.
Chief Executive Mark Mathieson said: “This is a tremendous milestone for the firm and comes in the middle of an extremely active period. We expect this total will double in the next couple of years as we crack on with a growing pipeline of consented schemes”.
The Perth-based firm, which was bought by infrastructure investors Ancala Renewables earlier this year, has now consented more than 60 schemes, and Mathieson believes the sector has a strong future.
“Run of river hydro has an extremely positive story to tell. Projects such as Allt Choire a’ Bhalachain bring considerable long-term benefit to local communities; they are largely delivered by expert local contractors, and well maintained schemes can generate green power for many decades ahead.”
The company is also actively seeking to secure additional development sites from land-owners.