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Hydro-Scheme

Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Scheme

The Project

In 2011 Fossoway and District Community Council asked Hugh Wallace, Managing Director of Glendevon Energy, to look into the possibility of developing a hydro scheme on the River Devon - where numerous Mills were once powered by the river. The result of his research is this 500kW run of river proposal for the River Devon which capitalizes on the vertical drop created by Rumbling Bridge gorge coupled with flows from a wide catchment area.   The hydro scheme is projected to generate an average 2.1Gwh of renewable electricity each year, enough to power over 500 homes.

The pipe route runs from the intake weir  just upstream of Naemoor Gardens to the downstream side of the Gorge. Its 1350m long with a 45m vertical drop and makes use of an old railway cutting. 

Hugh comments “the lightbulb moment was when I saw photos of the old railway cutting at the Dollar Museum – previously the deep dig through Briglands look prohibitively expensive – but with the rock breaking already undertaken in  the 1860’s we could re-use the same route and the project became viable.  After years of development it is extremely exciting to see the project come to fruition and offer so much benefit locally, both in terms of renewable electricity generated and the Community Benefit Fund.  As the largest Community Hydro Scheme in Scotland this is a great asset for both the local Community and Scotland".

Construction began in November 2015 by Grants Construction with Chris Pasteur of Cariney Hill as Project Manager.  The turbines were installed by Kestral Renewables and commissioned in September 2016.  The Scheme was officially launched by the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy on 28th October 2016, for photographs and information click here.  

Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society.  

Together, Hugh and Energy4All have created Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society, which offers local people the opportunity to own the scheme and apply all project surpluses for community benefit.  For photographs and information about the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Scheme and Society, click here.  

CARES Scheme and Energy4All

As a rural business in Scotland Glendevon Energy qualified for the CARES scheme, which offers a loan to develop renewable energy projects, provided there is an element of community benefit or ownership in the scheme.

This loan helped fund the initial feasibility and costs, and we achieved planning consent, a water abstraction license and a grid connection offer.  Hugh then approached Energy4All to finance the project – enabling the local community to benefit as much as possible from the development. Energy4All are a leading not-for-profit organization that help develop community energy in the UK.

Hugh comments “Energy4All have proved to be the final bit of the jigsaw, enabling us to fund this project to the benefit of the Community, whilst bringing passion, knowledge and experience to the table.  We are delighted to be working with them on this project.”