Green Highland Renewables ha submitted proposals for two hydro schemes south of Loch Garry
Planning applications have been submitted for the first hydro schemes in the Forestry Commission Scotland land portfolio.
Perth-based Green Highland Renewables, which specialises in small to medium-scale hydro developments, is seeking outline consent for two schemes to the south of Loch Garry, north of Fort William.
Green Highland was appointed by Forestry Commission Scotland in August 2010 to investigate and deliver run of river hydro projects on its north and west Scotland estate.
The firm said it expects to make three further applications in early 2013 with the aim of having consent for a total of 10 schemes in the Forestry Commission portfolio by October 2013 ranging in size from 400 kilowatts (kw) to two megawatt (MW) for a total capacity in the region of nine MW.
Green Highland Renewables, which recently opened a second office in Inverness to service the north of Scotland, has secured consent for 14 other schemes in the last 18 months, equating to a total of around 7.5 MW.
Ian Cartwright, managing director of Green Highland Renewables, said: “We are now in a position to bring forward the first 10 Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS)schemes in a phased programme in which we plan to have the first two commissioned and generating in late 2014, with the remainder to follow shortly after.
“We now have the finance to take this forward and, of equal importance, the people on the ground to deliver these schemes on time and within budget.
“We are hoping to construct and commission the 10 schemes over the next three to five years.
“The FCS portfolio also includes a further programme of schemes where we are still assessing the viability of the developments.
“Recent developments in the Feed in Tariff consultation will mean that more of these projects will now have potential.”
Kevin Peace, Forestry Commission Scotland's district manager, added: “Scotland's national forest estate is making its contribution to the production of clean and renewable energy by working with GHR in the development of a number of small scale hydro projects.
“It is all part of the Scottish Government drive to boost the generation of renewable energy.
“Developing renewables on the national forest estate is always to be carried out in a manner that is sensitive to the environment and through the planning process and is subjected to thorough scrutiny.
“Communities and neighbouring landowners will continue to be consulted as part of the planning process and constituted community groups are eligible for generous community benefit payments and have the option to invest in the schemes.”