SSEN connects River Avich Community Hydro Scheme

River Avich

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), has completed the electrical works associated with the connection of the 350kW Dalavich community hydro scheme in Argyll.

Located on the River Avich on Forestry Commission land, the innovative run of river hydro scheme has been in development since 2012 led by the Dalavich Improvement Group (DIG); a charitable organisation run by volunteers in the rural communities of Inverinian, Dalavich, Lochavich, and Kilmaha. In 2015, DIG set up a Community Benefit Society Awesome Energy (Dalriada) Limited to build and operate the Hydro Scheme.

Now the project is fully operational, the group will use all profits from the generation of the hydro scheme to fund local projects and meet objectives as outlined and agreed in the community’s local action plan.  The development of the local action plan followed extensive consultation and engagement with local residents of all ages. Priorities include creating local employment and skills opportunities, encouraging more tourism and improving local infrastructure.

Carol Thomas from Awesome Energy, said: “We would like to thank SSEN for supporting the community with the grid connection for the River Avich Hydro scheme. It’s been a long development process for us to get to this stage, and as volunteers with no previous experience in this field we have faced and overcome many challenges along the way. The community is so proud to see all our hard work pay off.”

Andy Huthwaite, Director of Commercial and Connections at SSEN, added: “We are pleased to have completed the connection for the River Avich Hydro scheme. Throughout the process we aimed to provide a high level of customer service and have worked closely with AED to investigate various connection options that would best suit their needs.

“With the scheme now operational we would like to congratulate the community on their dedication to the delivery of the project, overcoming many hurdles and challenges on their journey.”

The scheme will have an official opening ceremony in April this year.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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