SCOTTISH Hydro electric owner SSE yesterday revealed that it has put plans for four small-scale hydro-electric schemes “on hold” as it awaits the Scottish Government’s decision over subsidies.
The Perth-based utilities company said the decision would affect its 7.5MW hydro project at Kildermorie estate, near Alness in Ross-shire, the only one of the schemes to have already been placed in the planning system.
Other projects on hold include a scheme on the River Isla near Alyth, in Perthshire.
SSE’s two larger pump-storage scheme – each capable of producing 600MW of power – are not affected by the decision.
Last week, the UK government unveiled a 30 per cent cut to support for hydro-electric schemes in England and Wales .
Although the decision does not affect Scotland, SSE is understood to believe that the Scottish Government could take a similar step because both administrations have used the same cost analysis in their subsidy reviews.
Niall Stuart, chief executive of trade body Scottish Renewables, warned: “The considerable cut in support for hydro means that companies will have to re- consider some major investments.
“Feedback from the industry suggests a number of planned schemes may not go ahead unless the Scottish Government increases the levels of support for hydro in Scotland in its own banding review.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said an announcement on subsidies would be made “shortly”.
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