Broom Power Hydro Starts Generating Power
Scotland’s energy revolution just took another small but significant step forward with the successful completion of BroomPower, the community renewable energy scheme for the Ullapool and Lochbroom area of the north-west Highlands.
Operated by Lochbroom Community Renewables (LCR) which is run entirely by volunteers, the 100KW run-of-river hydro was completed on schedule at the beginning November 2017. It received its official ‘switch-on’ on 18th November at a special opening ceremony alongside LCR’s AGM.
Tim Gauntlett, Chair of LCR commented “BroomPower will provide much needed resource and benefit for our local community for years to come. We are immensely proud of the huge team effort that has brought BroomPower into being and grateful to all those who have given so much of their personal time and effort and professional skills to make it a reality”.
The hydro is expected to generate income for community projects over the next 20-40 years and aims to provide up to 4% per annum return for its 450-plus investors. The project has had the overwhelming support of the Lochbroom community since it was first instigated in 2013 and was the subject of a huge fundraising effort in 2016 to raise the £900,000 needed to build it. The target was reached in a nail-biting finish just days before the deadline expired thanks to a tremendous effort by all involved.
Construction of BroomPower was undertaken by a team of highly skilled experts, chosen by LCR for their track record in building small scale hydro schemes of this nature. They include Edinburgh-based renewable energy specialists Locogen, designer Hugh Campbell of Campbell of Doune and construction contractor Bobby Ross Ltd.
Located on the Allt a’Mhuilinn burn 9 miles south of Ullapool, the flow of the hydro will receive a boost every time it rains, giving the locals a reason to celebrate rather than curse the sometimes soggy Scottish weather.
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