Alasdair Morrison, the Deputy Minister for the Highlands, Islands and Gaelic, has given his consent for the construction of a £3M (US$4.5M) hydro power station in Ross-shire, Scotland. ‘The decision to grant consent is fully in line with the Scottish Executive’s policies on the promotion of renewable energy in Scotland,’ Morrison said. The project will be Scottish and Southern Energy’s first new hydro power station since the 1960s.

The 3MW scheme will be built on the Abhainn Cuileig, southeast of Ullapool, and will involve the construction of a small intake weir on the river. The power station and 2.5km penstock will be underground to reduce the visual impact of the scheme and its effects on the landscape. David Lee, Scottish and Southern Energy’s hydro generation manager said: ‘We have taken care to design a project which recognises the need of the environment and visual amenity. The route of the pipeline has been carefully selected.’

The scheme is expected to safeguard local jobs and

bring benefits to the area’s economy both during construction and through the need for additional services.