OCTOBER 2021 agm report
Broompower’s year of steady progress
Reporting to the Broompower AGM on Saturday 30th October, Rob Gibson in his report as Lochbroom Community Renewables (LCR) chair said,
“It may seem like a year of uneven progress but both hydro generation and the complex moves to buy our hydro footprint and the surrounding woods have a positive feel.
“We compared the SEPA rain gauge results at nearby Loch Droma to Broompower figures from our community hydro scheme. Paul Copestake calculated that it makes 2021 17th wettest in 32 years of monitoring by SEPA at Droma and our second best year in four of hydro generation at Allt a’Mhuillin.
“We can expect wide variations in rainfall but climate change promises wetter years. Against our original business plan we are running at 86% of our target for clean electricity production.
Turning to moves to buy the hydro footprint from Forest and Land Scotland (FLS), Mr Gibson reported a series of consultations with experts in woodland crofting, affordable housing and community asset planning. He went on:
“A robust and professionally-costed, business plan will be required to present to FLS in our bid to buy the hydro footprint and the woodland round it.”
He reminded members that map registration by Registers of Scotland requires measurable points, such as stream beds from the Allt Glacour and Allt a’Bhraighe. That is because the snake-like profile of the hydro intake, pipeline and turbine house sit astride the Allt a‘Mhuillin, the source of our water supply.
“To this end, agreeing the siting of affordable, rented houses and potential woodland crofts, huts and cabins will all be part of an income stream for the developing LCR project.
“In response to our leaflet seeking potential woodland crofters and its online equivalent over sixty people, mainly locally-based, have sought to visit the land. Andy Kaye has conducted enthusiastic parties on site. Thousands of hits on Broompower Facebook page show that affordable housing is the biggest ‘sore thumb’ in our community and across the Highlands. A recent Ullapool Community Trust survey has shown a remarkable 78% of respondents choosing affordable homes as their first or send priority.
“Broompower is in a new development phase, in tune with local needs, and offering ways to increase our contribution to the Ullapool Area Community Benefit Fund. We will have more positive news to report soon. Meanwhile the hard work of the Board and volunteers was praised at the Zoom AGM and a motion to welcome new Community Members, volunteers and possible new Board members was warmly endorsed.”
Lochbroom Hydro generation report Year 4 2020 -21
What is Broompower
BroomPower community hydro officially began generating electricity on 18th November 2017. The hydro is owned and run by Lochbroom Community Renewables Ltd, a Community Benefit Society, set up by Ullapool Community Trust (UCT) to identify and run renewable energy projects. It is staffed entirely by volunteers.
There are over 450 investors in BroomPower. 54% are from the local area and 46% from the wider UK and beyond, including the Netherlands, France, US and Japan. Many local investors did so on behalf of children and grandchildren highlighting the long-term community and environmental benefit of this community-owned renewables energy scheme.
For regular updates on progress like us on Facebook or Twitter @broompower