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Morvern buys into forestry hydro

First community investment under commission's renewables drive

Morvern buys into forestry hydro image

The people of Morvern have become the first community group to pour cash into a hydro development on land managed by Forestry Commission Scotland under its renewables programme.

The £30,000 investment by Morvern Community Development Company and Morvern Community Trust will provide a regular income when the 469kW facility on the Abhainn Shalachain enters operation later this year.

The project is being developed by a company owned by Perth-based Green Highland Renewables with funds managed by Triple Point Investment Management.

Minister for environment and climate change Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is the first direct investment by a community group into a hydro scheme being developed as part of Forestry Commission Scotland’s ongoing renewables programme.

“As hydro schemes start to progress in other parts of the country, we are confident that the move taken by the Morvern community will act as a catalyst for others to take up similar opportunities.”

MCDC lead director Angus Robertson said: “While the community would have preferred to have a larger sum to invest, it was delighted to be involved and will give the project all its support though the construction phase and into the future.”

Forestry Commission Scotland and its energy developers are in early-stage discussions with three other community groups interested in investing in small-scale hydro projects.

Green Highland Renewables managing director Ian Cartwright said: “Small-scale hydro schemes offer good long-term returns for investors and we are pleased this project will be completed with direct investment from the community.”

Image: small-scale hydro projects represent a sound community investment (Green Highland Renewables)

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