Hydro Scheme

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Hydro Scheme

Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Scheme

The Project

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 was a 500kW run of river scheme, which capitalizes on the vertical drop created by Rumbling Bridge gorge and 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. Construction started in November 2015 and was commissioned in September 2016.  Paul Wheelhouse - Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, and Niall Stuart - Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables joined us for the Official Launch on 28th October 2016.   

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 much of 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".

Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society.  

Together, Hugh and Energy4All have created Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society, which offered local people the opportunity to own the scheme and apply project surpluses for community benefit.  For more details about the scheme,  click here.  

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy - Paul Wheelhouse, and the Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables - Niall Stuart, joined landowners and members for the Official Launch on Friday 28th October 2016, for photographs of this memorable day 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.”