Update 19th December 2017
Due to snow and ice on the road, there hasn’t been a huge amount of progress over the past couple of weeks. However, it has provided some nice winter scenery when the clouds eventually cleared.
We also had some interesting visitors on site including the new CEO of Scottish Renewables who walked up to the Powerhouse site on a very wet morning and fully appreciated the hydro potential of the project. Claire Mack was accompanied by the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Head of Planning and Community Resource who was pleased with how the contractor had tried to minimise environmental impact and comply with planning control measures.
L to R pictured beside the An t-Sreang water in full flow : Duncan Legate (Highland Eco Design); Claire Mack CEO Scottish Renewables; Jim Lee E4A and ACHS; Stuart Mearns LL&T NPA (Head of Planning and Rural Development) and a colleague from Scottish Renewables.
Update from Duncan MacLachlan, Chairman, Arrochar Community Hydro – Monday 27th November
Thanks to all members returning votes on line, apologies prior to Saturday and special commendation to those who came along from furthest afield to meet our Energy4All representatives, local members and other supporters of the renewable Cooperatives community, it was a pleasant experience and very encouraging from the response and input received.
Thanks also to Isobel and David from the experienced Midcounties Cooperative, operating since 2005 offering a broad range of member services, Stephen and Alison form Edinburgh Community Co-ops, which with another David from Helensburgh we had a good cross section of members from the length and breadth of the country and the Energy4All renewables community, which as novices we very much welcomed for our first AGM.
The Arrochar hydro scheme, an ethical source of renewable energy providing a long term sustainable benefit to the communities in Arrochar and Luss, struck a chord with the belief in and support of the co-operative movement, and engagement with communities having active member democracy. Something Isobel and Alison travelled to Arrochar to demonstrate and be part of, which was very much appreciated.
With Energy4All’s administrative preparation and on-line support, the business of the meeting was well prepared and with Company Secretary Annette Heslop fronting proceedings, all motions were explained and carried on the day, with only a few abstentions and one opposing vote from the members present and those submitting returns on-line in absentia.
All then depends on the continued construction of the scheme which was reported to be “on time and on budget” despite the continued adverse weather conditions, which had the contractors travelling through a snow whiteout on Friday to get to Arrochar from their base in Perthshire and then working through snow, rain and sleet showers to excavate cable trenches from the Turbine House to the SSE Junction pole beside the 3 Lochs Way Link path from behind the Arrochar Parish Church.At the meeting the Founding Directors of the Hydro Society welcomed the ongoing support of local members and the inclusion in future of co-opted Directors with appropriate knowledge and experience, Social Enterprise Advisors and Volunteer supporters to reduce operational and routine maintenance overheads, to maximise community involvement and financial efficiency for community benefit.
Next week will see the arrival of the Steel frame and wooden cladding (and insulation) with roof sheeting for the Turbine House to prepare for the delivery of the Hydrover (www.http://hydrover.co.uk/) Turbine and generating equipment. This will also see the civil contractor Bryan Construction finishing their ground works which we have very much appreciated and despite variable “Good Hydro” weather they’ve completed as planned.