Remote Highland community to generate own hydro energy
The community-owned group BroomPower is aiming to raise £900,000 to fund the development near the Corrieshalloch gorge, near Ullapool, which will generate up to 100kw of electricity.
Profits will go to local initiatives across the Ullapool Community Trust area, which stretches from Elphin in the north to Braemore in the south and west to Gruinard Bay.
The run-of-river scheme will generate up to 479,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power more than 100 homes.
From an intake high up on the hillside, a pipeline will deliver water from the Allt a‘Mhuilinn burn to the turbine. The steep terrain and wet climate make the spot ideal for hydro power.
The area is home to a population of around 2,350 people so most local initiatives are run by volunteers and rely on fundraising to survive.
David Maxwell, volunteer director for Loch Broom Renewables, told The Scotsman: “Everyone who invests will be a member and everyone will have a vote.
“It will be at least 51 per cent community owned but we are not excluding anyone from Scotland, the UK or the rest of the world.
“Up to 49 per cent of members are allowed to come from outwith the Loch Broom post code and we already have people from as far afield as the US.”
Stephanie Clark of Scottish Renewables added: “The Highlands of Scotland are hydro power’s traditional heartland, so it’s great to see a community project looking to develop in such a historic location.”