Community energy company celebrates launch of new Kingussie hydro power plant

Friends of the Earth ScotlandAfter nine long years the Kingussie Community Development Company (KCDC) are celebrating the installation of a new community hydro-electricity plant on the River Gynack.

The hydro plant construction began yesterday and is due to be completed in eight weeks’ time.

KCDC chair Donald Grant said: “Having local residents with valuable skills, such as a semi-retired chartered engineer and treasurer, has been a real boon.  We hope that our experiences will help other community groups take forward their energy projects.”

Anne Schiffer, community energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: “It’s fantastic to see the project is now finally up and running.

“But despite great potential, the community hydro sector in Scotland is hugely under-developed with one of the main barriers being the ability to afford connection to the National Grid.

“So we’re working with partners to make it as easy as possible for communities like Kingussie to get connected and realise the benefits of renewable, local energy.”

The estimated hydro potential in Scotland increased from 657MW (2008) to 1.2GW after an updated report by the Scottish Government included projects under 100kW, i.e. small scale, community or locally owned energy schemes.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £60,000 to help the Kingussie Community Development Company realise their dream. And Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are also supporting Friends of the Earth Scotland’s ‘Power to the People’ project which is working to enable communities right across Scotland to tap into the benefits of community energy.

* Friends of the Earth Scotland are due to hold an anti-shale gas protest in Edinburgh early this morning (11 June 2014) outside the city centre hotel which is hosting a conference on the industry.

Murdo Fraser, MSP, chairman of the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee, and Dan Byles, MP,  Chairman of the Westminster parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil and Gas, are due to speak at the two-day conference.


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