First Scots community hydro scheme is switched on

A HYDRO scheme – the first in Scotland to be financially supported by a community group – has been switched on.

The hydro scheme is now producing power and income. Picture: Contributed

The 469 kilowatt development on the remote Abhainn Shalachain river near Lochaline, on the shores of the Sound of Mull, is now generating future income for local residents on the Morvern peninsula.

The scheme led by Perth-based Green Highland Renewables, is producing power for the National Grid and revenue which can be used locally.

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Last year, the people of Morvern became the first community group in the country to invest their own money in a hydro project on land managed by ­Forestry Commission Scotland.

In total the Morvern Community Development Company and Morvern Community Trust invested £30,000.

Their stake will now provide the community with regular income in addition to the standard £5,000 per annum per megawatt community benefit payment associated with onshore renewable projects.

Angus Robertson, speaking on behalf of the Morvern Community Development Company and Morvern Community Trust, said: “We believe strongly in community ownership. We would have liked to be able to afford a larger share but are ­delighted to be a part of it.”