Sunart Hydro Scheme - £753,300 raised from Community Shares!

27th Jul 2016

In just over 5 months, Sunart Community Renewables has raised £753,300 from selling community shares. Sunart’s Community share offer was the first of its kind in Lochaber and was supported by Community Shares Scotland.

The initial target of £284,000 - a third of the total cost of building a Community Hydro scheme - was smashed early in 2015 and the Hydro is now able to go ahead with just a small top up loan from two Social Enterprise lenders.

270 individual or corporate investors bought community shares. The majority of investors are local to Lochaber or have a long term association with the Sunart area though there are investors from across the UK.

Now that the share offer has closed, work is expected to begin on site in the next couple of weeks. The Hydro scheme is making use of a disused dam purchased by the community from Scottish Water and will harness the energy of the Allt nan Cailleach which runs through Scotstown, Strontian. It is expected to generate over 425kWh of electricity each year which will be sold to the national grid.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest our project has received and want to thank everyone who has supported us by buying community shares” said Richard Laybourne, Chair of Sunart Community Renewables. “The final total exceeded our wildest expectations and it means we can not only start construction of the Hydro but it will be able to give more money to the local community because we have not had to rely on large loans”.