New hydro scheme awards Torridon mountain rescue team £50k

THE operators of the latest run-of-river hydro scheme in Scotland has donated £50,000 to Torridon Mountain Rescue Team.

Torridon Mountain Rescue Team member Richard Cockburn accepts cheque from Hans Bunting, Chief Operating Officer, Renewables innogy SE, in the Grudie Hydro Electric scheme power station. Picture: Iain Ferguson/contributed

Pupils from Kinlochewe Primary School, contractors and members of the local community attended at a special event in Kinlochewe to mark the funding windfall and to celebrate the opening of innogy’s 2 megawatt Grudie hydro scheme.

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Hans Bunting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables, innogy SE, said: “Hydro is important to innogy in the UK. We have 24 operational schemes generating 83.75MWs of power; 32 MWs of which is in Scotland.

“We have been developing hydro in Scotland since the year 2000, it is a great place to do business and we want to continue to do so. Grudie is our 16th operational scheme in this country.

“But also important to us, when developing our projects, is that we are able to work with local and regional businesses in order to maximise the economic benefits to the local economy.

“We also invest monies into local community activities and projects; with decisions about how the funding is spent being made by the people that know and understand their community best.

“To that end, I am delighted that innogy has awarded £50,000 to Torridon Mountain Rescue Team to enable them to complete the purchase and building of a new base for their team in Torridon.”

Richard Cockburn of Torridon Mountain Rescue Team, said: “We thank innogy wholeheartedly for providing this donation which is critical for the construction of our new base.

“Without the initial funding and support from St John Scotland this dream would not have been realised and now the additional funding from innogy will allow us to push the start button.“

Angus Loudon, St John Scotland’s Executive Director said: “St John Scotland has proudly supported Scottish Mountain Rescue for many years, and will have provided over £3.2 million in funding by 2020.

“We are delighted that our funding of the land purchase and also of the bulk of the construction costs of the new base will enable the team in Torridon to move from their existing accommodation into a far more satisfactory purpose-built facility.

“We are also delighted that innogy has been able to provide the vital additional funding required to enable to project to become a reality sooner rather than later. This is an excellent example of partnership in order to provide an essential volunteer-led service that will benefit all who enjoy the world outdoors.”

The 2MW Grudie Hydro Scheme is located on the Grudie River near Loch Maree, approximately 7km north west of Kinlochewe. The scheme took 15 months to construct at a cost of £7.6 million, and became operational in April 2016.

Torridon Mountain Rescue Team has been delighted to received donations and funding awards from a wide range of donors including innogy, St John Scotland, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation and The Lochluichart Community Trust.