Community hydro brings power to the people

Donside hydro cropped

‚ÄčThe community owned and operated Donside Hydro is pumping out clean energy

Graham Martin's photo

14th November 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A pioneering hydro-electric scheme is now fully operational, producing clean energy for the community.

The Donside Hydro in Aberdeen is now operating at full capacity and hitting all of its production targets.

It is completely community owned and operated and has taken activists four years to bring to life.

Aberdeen Community Energy, which runs the scheme, said the hydro, on the banks of the River Don, is pumping out 99kw of energy.

We are true believers in community-level change and activism

Founding director Sinclair Laing said: “We are incredibly proud to be in the position to say that Tillydrone and the Donside Village is now home to a fully operational hydro scheme.

“For a community to take on such a huge project with all the associated issues and hurdles, and deliver within extremely challenging regulatory timescales, is a fantastic achievement. We are true believers in community-level change and activism and it’s that empowerment that has resulted in a sustainable income for an economically deprived community.”

The hydro scheme, which is selling electricity to the national grid, is expected to generate many thousands of pounds for a community fund and enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 130 homes each year.

While the hydro is fully operational, landscaping work will continue in the spring to complete the cosmetic aspects of the project.

Fundraising for the project is still on-going as well.

A community share offer that offered investors a target 7% annual return, launched in August and successfully raised £500,000 10 days ahead of the planned closing date of 16 September.

A bond offer has now been launched to raise the remaining £600,000 required to fund the project.

Buyers are promised a competitive 4% fixed-rate annual return and bonds are available to purchase until March 2017, or earlier if the target is met ahead of schedule.

The offer has so far successfully raised about a third of the target amount.

For more details, download the Bond Offer Document form.