RWE Innogy’s 3MW Cia Aig Hydro Scheme has been officially inaugurated in Scotland by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy together with Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of RWE International SE .
The project, located on the Abhainn Chia-aig river, at the eastern end of Loch Arkaig, took 24 months to construct at a cost of just under £12 million, and became operational with the first turbine in February 2016.
“This 3MW hydro scheme will help contribute to the growing importance of hydro generation in Scotland – the largest source of renewable power in Scotland after onshore wind,” commented Minister Wheelhouse. “I welcome RWE Innogy UK’s commitment to provide community benefit funding associated with their renewables schemes including their Cia Aig hydro development.”
Wheelhouse added that the Scottish Government is committed to supporting the development of renewables – including hydropower – as part of Scotland’s balanced energy portfolio, and are already developing an overarching energy strategy, setting out what it can do to optimise the benefits of Scotland’s significant energy resources and expertise through to 2030.
“We are delighted that another of our member’s schemes is now in full operation and we welcome this opportunity to demonstrate to Scottish Government the positive impact the development of new hydropower has on Scottish communities,” commented Simon Hamlyn, Chief Executive, British Hydropower Association, who attended the inauguration yesterday. “There is now more than 177 MW of small-scale hydropower available in Scotland with approximately 1,700 people working in the sector in Scotland and increasingly many local communities are taking a stake. Small-scale hydropower energy is a popular, long-term form of low carbon energy with a generation profile which matches demand and supports a significant Scottish supply chain. With the right support from Scottish Government, this industry can continue generating rural jobs and green energy in Scotland for many years to come.”