The largest community-owned hydro power project in Scotland has been officially opened by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP.
The 500 kilowatt project at Rumbling Bridge, near Kinross, a village named after an unusual double bridge, which gives off a distinctive rumbling reverberation at lower levels.
Mr Wheelhouse said:
“I am delighted to formally open the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Scheme. This project will generate community benefit funds of £5,000 plus per year, and the community are currently consulting on how this can best be directed to the benefit of local people.
“Our new Scottish Energy Strategy to be published early next year will build on this approach, promoting community ownership and involvement in renewable energy and demonstrating how we will capitalise on the social, economic and environmental benefits of the transition to a low carbon economy. This will form our strategic response to the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector and set out our long term vision for energy in Scotland up to 2050 while also informing the Climate Change Plan to meet our climate change targets between 2016 and 2032.”
Added Kenneth Gibson :
“More than 500 megawatts of projects that have already been developed in Scotland, but we want to do much more, raising this to one gigawatt by 2020 and, by 2030 double that.
“Community-owned renewables have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change at a local level. They already play a hugely important role within our energy mix. Scotland is making great progress in renewable energy with the equivalent of 56.7% of total electricity used in Scotland being met renewable energy sources in 2015.
“28 October saw the official opening of Glenkiln Hydro, built as a joint venture with local farmer Kenneth Bone in a joint venture with MEG Renewables, generating enough electricity to power 15% of Arran. I look forward to seeing many more such projects open in the months and years ahead.”