As a Dream Fund winner in 2011, the Kingussie Micro Hydro project received an amazing £65,386 from our players to generate 'green' energy for the Kingussie community. Run by the Kingussie Community Development Company (KCDC) and the Kingussie Vicinity Community Council, this fantastic project is getting underway this summer after nine long years of development. This marks a very exciting time for project founders as their dream of a sustainable and energy-efficient community is finally becoming a reality.
The installation of a new hydro plant on the river Gynack will have a host of benefits for local businesses and individuals. This will help to generate an estimated 72,250kwh of power and reduce local CO2 emissions by around 36 tonnes annually. The resultant income, expected to be £15,000 per year, will be used as funding for charitable organisations in the area. Therefore, not only will this project create electricity that can be sold at a cost-effective rate to companies, it will also benefit clubs that are regularly used by the local population.
One such club to benefit is the Kingussie golf club. "Electricity from here will be sold to the local golf club so there's a benefit to them as a community organisation as well as a benefit to us," said Ian Moffett from KCDC. "KCDC, which is a local community charity, will receive an income which will then be used for charitable purposes within the community."
This project falls within the Community Power campaign run by Friends of the Earth Scotland, an incredible charity that envisions a world where everyone can enjoy a healthy environment and a fair share of the earth's resources. Friends of the Earth Scotland also received vital funding from our players this year, collecting a whopping £75,000.
Anne Schiffer, Community Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said, "It's fantastic news to see the project is finally up and running. But despite great potential, the community hydro sector in Scotland is hugely underdeveloped with one of the main barriers being the ability to afford connection to the National Grid. We're working with partners to make it as easy as possible for communities like Kingussie to get connected and realise the benefits of renewable, local energy."