The Highland Community Energy Society Limited (Highland CES) is a society set up to take up the community stake in up to six hydro projects in the Highlands of Scotland. Highland CES is a venture for the benefit of the community and is an ethical, community-based social enterprise designed to own renewable energy sources and to contribute financially to its local communities.
Highland CES will have a Director on each Special Purpose Vehicle Board (SPV, a company set up to operate an individual hydro site) and will be providing administrative support to the SPVs, through the services of Energy4All.
Click here to see the current Board Members of Highland CES.
Energy4All is a non-profit distributing social enterprise that promotes and facilitates community ownership of renewable energy in the UK. The basic idea is that new social enterprises will be established to undertake renewable energy projects, which will be controlled by their community and provided with technical expertise and management by Energy4All. Energy4All seeks to recover costs and provide for future development work from its fees. Any profits that arise are used by the company for the furtherance of its aims and objectives. Each new enterprise is paid for by the success of older enterprises, and it in turn supports the enterprises of the future.
To date, Energy4All has promoted twenty four co-operatively owned projects, including Highland CES. Highland CES is the third Hydro Electric project that Energy4All has supported in Scotland, the first being the UK’s largest Community Hydro Scheme at Rumbling Bridge in Perth & Kinross which was commissioned in September 2016. The other community co-ops are: 11 wind turbine projects, 6 roof top solar projects, 1 ground mounted solar co-op, 1 hydro project in England, a wood heat project and a co-operative that specialises in undertaking the early stages of development of renewable energy projects. Energy4All has raised over £70m for community renewable energy projects and manages over 13,000 members in its family of co-ops.
Energy4All were involved in creating the first community renewable energy project in Northern Ireland – Drumlin Wind Energy – and also worked with Marks & Spencer creating the first community energy project with a major retailer.
Highland eco-design (HECO)
HECO are the contractors who will and have been constructing the Sites. Since incorporation in 2009 HECO has successfully secured consents for over 2 MW of micro-hydro capacity. They have worked with, or are continuing to work with, a number of community groups and are members of the British Hydropower Association and Scottish Renewables. The company has confirmed that it has sufficient capacity to deliver the Projects.
The Hydro Turbines will benefit from the usual manufacturer’s warranty. As the Hydro Turbines age, mechanical parts may need replacing, but modern Hydro Turbines are normally extremely reliable. After Commissioning of the Hydro Plants, HECO will manage the ongoing operation and maintenance aspects of the Sites for the SPVs under a standard NEC contract.