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New £8.5m Scottish Highlands hydro project to power almost 2,500 homes

A new £8.5m hydro-electric project in the Scottish Highlands has been jointly funded by Clydesdale Bank and Thrive Renewables.

Being developed by Inverbroom Hydro and Glendevon Energy, the project is currently under construction, with its 2MW turbine due to begin exporting to the grid at the beginning of 20211.

Utilising run-of-river hydro technology, the project will comprise a small dam with a tilting slipway, allowing it to operate within the flood range of Loch a Bhraoin and helping to minimise environmental impact. A storage facility will also be incorporated, ensuring electricity is delivered to the grid in line with supply requirements.

This project is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 2,250 average UK homes, saving more than 3,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Clydesdale Bank provided £6.7m of long term project finance loans alongside £1.8m of mezzanine finance from Thrive Renewables.

Mark Lorimer, Director at Inverbroom Hydro said:

“This is our first renewable energy project. It would not have happened without the support of Clydesdale Bank and Thrive Renewables. Despite having to limit activity to protect contractors during the Coronavirus crisis, construction has already made good progress and is on target to meet project deadlines. We look forward to making a meaningful contribution to low carbon energy generation in the West Highlands.”

Keith Wilson, Head of Renewable Energy at Clydesdale Bank, said:

“At Clydesdale Bank, we are committed to supporting business ambition. We have a long track record of working with companies of all sizes and are pleased to be supporting yet another hydro project. The combination of longevity of life, predictability of generation and a storage facility, will all help ensure this project makes a valuable contribution to the energy transition and overall energy mix."

Matthew Clayton, managing director at Thrive Renewables said:

“Our mission is to power the clean energy transition as part of the UK’s journey to net zero. By providing a mezzanine loan for the construction of Inverbroom, we are increasing Scottish renewable capacity, making use of the country’s exceptional natural resources and working towards this goal. We are pleased to be investing in hydro power as it has an important role to play in UKs evolving mix of electricity generation sources. This project is an excellent example of how developers, funders and landowners can come together to make renewable energy projects happen.”

 

 

1. Work has been scaled back to protect the health of contractors and suppliers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Calculated using the most recent statistics from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,781kWh, https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained

3. RenewableUK uses BEIS’s “all fossil fuels” emissions statistic of 450 tonnes of carbon dioxide per GWh of electricity supplied in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (July 2019) p125 Table 5D (“Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from electricity supplied 2015 to 2017”), https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained. Average per capita greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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We have a long track record of working with companies of all sizes and are pleased to be supporting yet another hydro project. 

Keith Wilson, Head of Renewable Energy at Clydesdale Bank

 

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