Councillors back pioneering green energy project

Councillors have today agreed to offer support to a pioneering community-owned energy project.

Aberdeen City Council officers will now discuss options to provide landscaping initiatives for the Donside Hydro Scheme – run by Aberdeen Community Energy (ACE).

Councillors also agreed to discuss providing financial support to the green venture, in the event the community’s bond issue is unsuccessful.

The decision was made following a motion put forward at today’s Finance Policy and Resources Committee by Convener Councillor Willie Young.

Aberdeen City Council’s Finance Policy and Resources Convener Councillor Willie Young said: “ACE has proved to be a dynamic and innovative organisation which has made incredible progress in the use of green energy to enhance the lives of the community.

“Not only seeking to reduce carbon emissions, the members also want to contribute to the quality of life by developing green spaces for the wider community.

“It is encouraging to see such an empowered community group and it is right that the Council supports the scheme and helps to make it as successful as possible for the benefit of many of our residents.”

The scheme harnesses energy from the neighbouring River Don to create electricity to be sold to the national grid.

The funds generated from the scheme will contribute to a community fund which will be used to improve the landscape beyond the scheme promoting community activity including sports, food growing and social activities.

It is anticipated by ACE that the community fund will contribute up to £400,000 back to the community during the first 20 years of the scheme’s operation.

In order to fund the scheme ACE launched a share offer of £500,000 on 9 August 2016.

Due to overwhelming demand, the offer was fully subscribed within three weeks and closed on 5 September 2016.

The community is now looking to raise a further £600,000 from an issue of £1 bond.

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the scheme will also improve the local landscape as the development site was formerly vacant and derelict.

Planting will take place to improve the landscape for wildlife.

Developing the site including public access to and around it will improve the community landscape by presenting a new space for people to enjoy for health and recreation benefiting the wider community of Tillydrone.