Construction has begun on a 750kW plant at Allt Choire a’ Bhalachain, Isle of Skye, by Scottish energy developer Green Highland Renewables. The small hydroelectric project is located on the southern part of Loch Garry in Scotland.
The local community is set to receive the industry-standard benefit of £5,000 for every MW generated per annum, in addition to an undisclosed annual royalty. These funds will be used to fund local community projects.
Green Highland Renewables was appointed by FCS in 2010 to develop a number of sites for hydroelectricity and gained planning permission for three locations. They have approximately twenty prospective projects in the pipeline.
Highland Waterworks has been appointed as the main contractor on the project – their ninth hydroelectric project in the Scottish highlands and their third for Green Highland Renewables. Green highland began work on the site as far back as 2011 and in 2013 finally received the green light to go ahead with the scheme.
This particular Allt Choire a’ Bhalachain project has been funded by investors, Triple Point. It is one of two projects in the area, with the other being the 1.3MW Allt Laidaigh project which is due to start construction next year.
The scheme represents a boost to the small scale hydroelectric sector which has been hampered over years by concerns that the financial incentives were not worth the initial investment. Feed-in tariffs for hydroelectric power are far less significant compared to wind or solar energy. Green Highland, however, is confident they can make a healthy return from well-located projects.
The scheme is scheduled for completion in 2015.