The UK’S largest community-owned hydro scheme is being launched near Rumbling Bridge village, Perth & Kinross in Scotland.
Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy officially launched the scheme on Friday 28th October. He was joined by community members, landowners and stakeholders who have worked to create and construct the project including Energy4All, Energy Prospects Co-operative, Grant Ltd, Glendevon Energy, Cairneyhill , Kestral and Local Energy Scotland.
The project was funded by The Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society (RBCHS), who in October 2015 raised £2.9 million in a community share offer to fund the installation. The scheme attracted over 660 Members, including local residents and renewable energy supporters living nationwide. Members who have joined the society are doing something tangible in the fight against climate change, they will receive a fair return on their investment and profits will deliver community benefit.
Members of the society walked the route of the pipeline and saw the weir and powerhouse in operation. This is a run -of- river scheme, which means there is no storage reservoir and only water running through the river is used.
Paul Phare Chair of RBCHS said ” This project is the largest community owned hydro scheme, not just in Scotland but in the UK. Over 15,000 man-hours have been put into this project by Grant Ltd our civil works contractor alone, with many more hours from other stakeholders. This project is an important step in the green energy revolution, because a community is taking control of an energy generating asset and will run the business democratically for the benefit of the community. These economic benefits will be available to members, the local community and organisations which share common values. We hope the next step will allow the Society to sell electricity to its members, like in other parts of Europe.”