Shareholders in Edinburgh’s first micro hydro scheme have marked the beginning of construction with a ceremonial ‘golden spade’ event. Members of Harlaw Hydro community micro hydro project watched the Lord Provost of Edinburgh cut the first turf at Harlaw Reservoir on 3 September.
Last summer the community benefit society raised over £330,000 to begin developing the resource, the first in the City of Edinburgh. Over the last year a technical team comprising directors and shareholders has been progressing it, working with representatives from City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Power and others to agree the design and a construction management plan.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Rt Hon Donald Wilson, said: “Harlow Hydro is owned and managed by and for its members, who mostly hail from communities nearby the reservoir. This means they will directly benefit from the energy produced by hydro, as well as receive an equal say and share of the profits, while acting together for the common good.
“The City of Edinburgh Council wants more people to set up co-ops and other social enterprises, because they give local people more of a say and they can help to make communities stronger and better off. If you would like to find out about setting up a co-operative or social enterprise, there are several enterprise places you can get advice, support and funding, and we provide a list on the council website.
“It’s especially exciting for me to see the construction get underway. One of my main priorities while in this role is to stress the importance of promoting environmental causes, which the hydro project embraces.”
The turbine is expected to be operational in early 2015.