A long-awaited, community-owned hydro-electricity plant in Kingussie is finally becoming a reality. After nine long years the Kingussie Community Development Company (KCDC) are celebrating the installation of a new community hydro plant on the river Gynack. The hydro plant construction began today and is due to be completed in 8 weeks’ time.

KCDC chair Donald Grant said: “Having local residents with valuable skills, such as a semi-retired chartered engineer and treasurer, has been a real boon. We hope that our experiences will help other community groups take forward their energy projects.”

Anne Schiffer, community energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “It’s fantastic news to see the project is finally up and running. But despite great potential, the community hydro sector in Scotland is hugely underdeveloped with one of the main barriers being the ability to afford connection to the National Grid. We’re working with partners to make it as easy as possible for communities like Kingussie to get connected and realise the benefits of renewable, local energy.”

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £60,000 to help the Kingussie Community Development Company realise their dream. And Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are also supporting Friends of the Earth Scotland’s ‘Power to the People’ project which is working to enable communities right across Scotland to tap into the benefits of community energy.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

1. Friends of the Earth Scotland are working to bring ‘Power to the People’ by supporting community renewables projects across Scotland. More information at: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/node/1689
2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organization
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. 
www.foe-scotland.org.uk
3. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Power to the People project is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/ppl
4. The estimated hydroelectric potential in Scotland increased from 657MW (2008) to 1.2GW after an updated report by the Scottish Government included projects under 100kW, i.e. small scale, community or locally-owned energy schemes

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