Highlands hydro power schemes get £4.8m boost

Two 'run of river' hydro power schemes are being developed in the Highlands as part of a £4.8 million investment.

ACP is also involved in a scheme near Loch Arkaig. Picture: Contributed

Albion Community Power (ACP), which is backed by the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank, Strathclyde Pension Fund and Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said the projects would generate 2.8 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity a year, enough to power about 700 homes.

Its Liatre Burn scheme is located near Loch Mullardoch in Glen Cannich, while the Bruachaig scheme is close to Kinlochewe in the western Highlands.

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Construction of both projects is already underway, with completion expected before the end of the year.

The firm is also involved in two further schemes – Chaorach near Crianlarich and River Arkaig in Lochaber – that are due to be fully commissioned by the end of September.

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ACP chairman Volker Beckers – the former chief executive of German power group RWE Npower – said: “ACP’s expertise in hydro power, combined and enhanced by local knowledge, supports the government’s SME and local business campaign.

“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 at the Green Investment Bank, added: “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.”