River Ness Hydro

Introduction

The Highland Council has declared a Climate and Ecological emergency and aspires to be net zero by 2025. The River Ness Hydro scheme will help reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint, and further generation and use of renewable energy. A 93kW hydroelectric power twin turbine will generate an estimated 550,000 kWh per annum, suppling the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre with approximately 50% of their electricity use.

The project will be partially funded through the Council's Salix Recycling Fund; a £7m recycling fund which is the largest award made in Scotland and the largest made to a local authority in the UK. Salix Finance Ltd. are a non-departmental public body, owned wholly by government, who provide interest-free loans to the public sector for energy efficiency projects.

The £7m Recycling Fund (RF) aims to increase long-term investment in energy-efficient technologies across the public sector by enabling clients to reinvest savings from previous projects to finance further energy reduction schemes. The loan fund is ring-fenced for investment in projects that will reduce the Council’s energy spend and carbon emissions. The River Ness Hydro is one of many energy efficient projects across Highland benefiting from this investment.

The River Ness Hydro is a cross-service project which involves council officers from teams in Transformation, Property, and Climate and Energy.

The River Ness Hydro will attract many visitors, providing an interactive experience for all ages and promoting the use of renewable energy and STEM learning in Highlands. It will provide a learning hub for climate change, local ecology, engineering and renewables.

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