Community hydro project for Scottish social enterprises

Members of Callander Community Development Trust have launched Callander Community Hydro Ltd, a small hydropower scheme now operating at Stank Glen, just north of the town near Loch Lomond in Scotland and within The Trossachs National Park.

In 2008, members of the Development Trust conceived the idea of a hydro scheme to generate income for community projects. Featuring a Gilkes Pelton-type 450 kW turbine (pictured) and 150 metre head, it is one of the first community-led hydro schemes in Scotland. Expected to produce 1.3 – 1.4 GWh annually, the output will be exported to the grid.

The Park Authority’s proactive stance on micro-hydro schemes, including 'ground-breaking' Supplementary Planning Guidance for Renewable Energy introduced in 2013 to best coordinate with feed-in tariff arrangements. This approach has resulted in approval of 36 ‘run-of-river’ hydro applications by the National Park, 11 of which are now operational.

The scheme also attracted a £1.65 million ($2.6 million) funding package including commercial borrowing from Triodos Bank.

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