The conservation and heritage charity for the
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Arrochar Community Hydro Society

Wednesday, June 14 2017

The communities of Arrochar and Tarbet, and Luss and Arden, are going to be given the opportunity to be a part of a community hydro scheme. Local residents and renewable energy supporters nationwide will have the option of purchasing a stake in the scheme, from £250 to £100,000.

The 123kw hydro plant will be located above the village of Arrochar and will be a run of river scheme. The electricity generated will be sold onto the National Grid. Income generated will be conveted to the Community Development Trusts for ongoing projects and future community benefit with a proportion returned to members as share interest.

The Arrochar and Tarbet and Luss and Arden Development Trusts are working alongside Community Energy specialists Energy4All, Local Energy Scotland and Luss Estates to develop this project.

The Arrochar Community Hydro scheme was initially proposed by Luss Estates as a means to enable local Development Trusts to generate income to reinvest in their communities. The river and surrounding land on which the scheme will be developed is leased for a peppercorn rent by Luss Estates to Arrochar Community Hydro.

Luss Estates Chief Executive, Simon Miller, said: "Luss Estates is delighted to have initiated this scheme and to be able to support the Development Trusts in this project which will serve to generate income for the local communities in an environmentally friendly scheme. We have worked closely with both Development Trusts to bring the project to this stage and will continue to support them moving forward. Luss Estates is committed to supporting the local economy, communities and protecting our stunning natural environment and this project is an excellent example of this commitment."

Director of Arrochar and Tarbet Development Trust, Duncan MacLachlan has been working with other community members to bring a small hydro project to the area for a number of years now. He said: "It's great to see the hydro scheme is finally going ahead. The Arrochar Hydro concept results from two communities working in partnership - Arrochar and Tarbet and Luss and Arden Development Trusts. The scheme was offered a CARES loan in March 2015 and planning consent granted in July 2015. The scheme faced a number of challenges since inception, however with considerable help from Energy4All, Local Energy Scotland and Luss Estates we are now in the position to launch the share offer."

David McCowan of Luss and Arden Development Trust commented: "This project will create a sustainable financial base to benefit future generations within our communities."