Urban hydro scheme is already churning out community benefits
Scotland’s first urban community hydro has been formally handed over to its community owners
Donside Hydro has been managed remotely by turbine suppliers since it became operational in October 2016.
This week Aberdeen Community Energy (ACE) took over responsibility for operating the hydro from supplier, MannPower Consulting.
Located on the banks of the River Don, in the Tillydrone area of the city, the hydro has been hitting production targets for just over four months, including regularly reaching its maximum generation capacity of 99.9kW.
ACE’s founder and chair, Sinclair Laing said: “While there’s still some work to achieve the landscaping, recreational and educational objectives of the project, this is one of the final milestones with the hydro itself. We are ecstatic to say the least to see all our hard work over the past few years finally pay off; we’re very proud custodians of this important community-owned asset.
“We’d like to thank the people from Aberdeen, Scotland and throughout the UK who have showed faith in us by investing financially in our project. We are very close to being fully funded but there are still some Bonds left to take advantage of, offering a 4% fixed-rate annual return. Please get in touch with us to find out more if you’d like to be part of our exiting story.”
The hydro scheme, which is selling electricity to the national grid, is expected to generate many thousands for a community fund, enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 130 homes and avoid 240 tonnes of climate damaging carbon emissions each year.
A community share offer that offered investors a target 7% annual return, launched in August last year and successfully raised £500,000 ten days ahead of the planned closing date of 16 September.
A bond offer was then launched to raise the remaining £600,000 required to fully fund the project. Buyers are promised an extremely competitive 4% fixed-rate annual return and Bonds are available to purchase until the end of March 2017. The bond has so far raised about 75% of the target amount.
Sinclair continued: “Now we set our sights firmly on transforming our riverside area to make it an enjoyable space for all, and a community engagement strategy that allows us to maximise the benefits of the hydro to local schools, universities and other interest groups.”