rushing river water

Join us to find out more

Post in Community Energy by Ewan Bush
A good opportunity to get out of the house, join us for an outdoor, socially distanced meeting.

Exploring Community Owned Electricity Generation

When:       Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Time:        5.30pm
Where:     Garve Hotel Car Park Grounds - you can't miss us!!

The Garve & District Energy Group continue to explore opportunities and options for community owned electricity generation. Ullapool, Applecross and many more places now have wonderful community owned schemes up and running, generating income and power for their communities.  It's time to see what we can do for Garve & District!

In your response to our annual Energy Group surveys and from your attendance at Energy Group events, you have consistently told us you would like to see a community energy project in place.  When we asked you last year  “should GDCE continue to explore the viability of opportunities for community owned energy generation projects?” 95 out of a 101 households who returned the survey form replied YES, you should.

Over the past few years we’ve looked at a number of possible sites within our community boundary, (mostly on burns within Forestry land offered for development under the ‘Forest Renewables’ scheme), and sought expert opinion about their potential, none of which gave us the confidence to progress to detailed project planning.

More recently, we’ve explored the possibility of using the Black Water river its self, involving Proterra, a local hydro expert and installer to give us an initial view on viability and the sort of system that is now generating electricity further downstream on the Brahan Estate. This has proved to be more encouraging and were it not for current Covid restrictions, this would have been the subject of the first of six ‘community workshops’ that had been planned within our ‘Green for Go’ project, funded by our ‘Investing in Communities grant.

So please take a look at the video of our ‘walk about’ with Proterra at Black Water, come and join us outdoors for a community meeting - give us your feedback and ask questions.

There is potential to seek external funding, to consider the environmental impact and give us an initial cost/benefit analysis before progressing a development at Black Water, and of course we need full community support to take this forward.

Ways to feedback: -

  • Join us on the 21st
  • Comment below
  • Use the Contact Button to email us
  • Telephone us
  • Write to us

Questions & Comments

Have an opinion on this topic? Leave a comment here. Here's what others have been saying...


Steve Jones said:

Thanks Energy Group for doing this.

It sounds promising enough to take it to the next stage of assessing the financail and practical feasiblity of putting such a scheme in place. 

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Moira Harris said:

A huge thank you to the Energy Group for all your work on this. The video shows the real potential of this project.

Reducing community energy costs is a high priority in the Development Plan i.e., there is strong support from the community. Future proofing, investing in sustainable legacy projects for future generations, is vital. 

You've given the community lots of information and ample opportunity to respond. An application for funding for a feasibility study is the next step - go for it!

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Steve Jones said:

Thanks to the Energy Group for the meeting and information on Tuesday evening. It was fascinting to hear about the potential to generate elctricity from a hydro scheme on the river. And about the uses to which such electricity could be put to benefit the community eg  - selling electricity to the grid  - providing power to homes - providing power to a community bus or other vehicles at a profit This is part of the development plan agreed by the community, And as you have said, previous surveys have shown overwhelming support for this project - both giving you a strong community mandate.  You propose two investigations to see if this project is viable:

  1. An envirnmental impact and cost benefit study
  2. A reivew by SSE of how and when they will increase the capaciy of the local electricuty network

And you made the point clearly that we have to be on the front foot with these schmese to be able to take advantage of benefticial government schemes as they ermerge. So I feel it is essential that we press ahead with all urgeny with these investagations funded by LCT as necesaary.  

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Ewan Bush said:

Thank you everyone for coming along to the public meeting in Garve last week and to all the supportive comments above. I have now lodged an EOI (Expression of Interest) for CARES funding to carry out an Environmental and Cost Benefit Study. Additional funding may be required to pay for the SSE costing and feasibility study into grid restraints and subsequent connection charges. I am also aware of the Black Water Wild Life Groups concerns regarding the diverse spiecies of plant and wild life in the area and how they may be affected by the development of a small scale Hydro on the river. Finding solutions to these concerns and mitigating any impact is key to the viability of the project. Will keep you all updated as to progress.

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