Donside hydro scheme launches £500,000 investor appeal

The backers of an urban community hydro energy scheme in Aberdeen has launched a bid to raise £500,000 from local investors.

Aberdeen Community Energy (Ace) has launched the appeal to support the development of the £1.2 million Donside hydro scheme currently being built near Tillydrone.

Investors have been promised a 7% return on their investment – although they may have to keep their money in the scheme for up to 20 years.

The group said repayment of capital investment will take place annually over 20 years, beginning in year two. Investors will receive a portion of their capital plus the interest each year, until the amount is fully repaid in year 20. Projections show that for an investment of £1,000, the total return over a 20 year period would be just over £2,500.

The project is thought to be the first urban community hydro scheme in Scotland and will feature the UK’s biggest Archimedes’ screw to generate power from the River Don.

It’s expected the project will generate thousands each year in surplus profits for the community fund and enough electricity to power the equivalent of 130 homes annually.

Sinclair Laing, founding director of Ace said: “We are so pleased to have finally launched the share offer. Construction began in early June and the Donside Hydro is taking great shape, but our work is far from over. We are hoping to raise £500,000 over the next five weeks, which seems quite daunting but we’ve seen similar projects across Scotland raise similar amounts in the same time frame, so we know it can be done.

“We’re calling on people from communities across the UK to support us. If you are passionate about green energy and sustainable communities or even if you’re just looking for a solid return on your investment, then please take some time go through the share offer document and get in touch to find out more. The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum £100,000, so we hope to attract a wide range of investors.”

Kevin Stewart MSP said: “The Donside Village community are to be applauded for their efforts in making their hydro scheme a reality and I hope that folk will get behind them by investing in the project through their community share offer.”

Shares will be sold for £1 each and should be regarded as a “long term investment”, Ace said. The share offer closes on 15 September.

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