Power to the people!

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  • Scheme once supplied power to the aristocracy
  • Pioneer offer will fund design of new scheme

A Victorian hydro scheme which once supplied power to the aristocracy is being rebuilt to provide electricity and income for the community of Braemar.

The scheme on the Corriemulzie burn, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, was used in Victorian times to generate electricity for Mar Lodge the home of Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter, HRH Princess Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife.

A Community Benefit Society has been set up to raise funds for the project and within ten days of launch, the Pioneer share offer of £150,000 had been fully subscribed with almost 50 people with local connections putting money into the scheme.

Al Hubbard, a director of Braemar Community Hydro, said: “It’s been a long haul to get to this stage.

“Braemar Community Ltd first started monitoring flow on the burn seven years ago.

“Once we were confident the scheme was viable there were many challenges to be overcome.

There were many challenges to overcome.

Al Hubbard

“Now, terms for the lease have been agreed with Mar Estate, planning permission and a Licence from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency are in place, we have a grid connection offer from Scottish and Southern Energy and Braemar Community Hydro has been set up.

“The Pioneer share offer was launched in the village at the end of March and we were overwhelmed by the support from the community.

“There was real enthusiasm for such an unobtrusive renewable scheme with such an interesting pedigree.

“It’s overgrown now but in Victorian times, as well as generating power, the Linn of Corriemulzie was a favourite beauty spot.

“The Pioneer offer will fund the design of the new scheme, the turbine deposit and the grid connection.

“A further share offer will be launched in May.”

The main share offer of £650,000 will be open to all.

As well as generating a return, investors will be able to claim against income tax.

Braemar Community Hydro aim to begin installation this autumn and to be generating electricity by the late summer of 2016.

For more information about the project and the share offer, contact Dave Chandler on 07880554539.