Trust hoping to power ahead with £1million hydro scheme on island
Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) has launched a bid to set up a £1million river-run hydro scheme on Mull.
If approved the community project could generate up to 925 MWh of energy and earn the trust up to £150,000 a year.
MICT has applied to buy or lease land back from the National Forest Land Scheme to set up the river hydro station.
MICT operations and development manager Richard Thorne said the venture could cost up to £1.1million to set up but that the revenue generated by selling power back to the national grid would allow the trust to pay the money back within 15 years. “While we are paying the set-up costs back the scheme is expected to generate up to £30,000 each year for the trust. After 15 years when it is paid off, we expect it to make about £150,000 and that money will be directly used to benefit the communities on Mull and Iona.”
MICT has applied to the National Forest Land Scheme (NFLS) to buy or lease 0.165 hectares of land on Allt Achadh na Moine, in Salen Forest near Garmony on the east coast of Mull to build the hydro station.
Some of the money generated by the trust could be used to provide funding for similar renewable energy ventures on Mull, although the trust said Iona has been ruled out for renewable energy development due to the terrain and planning restrictions. An open consultation period has been launched by the NFLS for feedback on the application. The last date for submissions is June 29.