Harlaw Hydro Ltd (2759 RS) has been established as a Co-op (Industrial and Provident Society) for the benefit of the community in order to own and operate a micro-Hydro scheme. It will be controlled by its members, who each have a vote on profit distribution, elect board members at the AGM, vote on resolutions and can change the rules of the society.
The co-op will generate revenue by selling ‘green’ hydro-electricity. The income generated will allow Harlaw Hydro Ltd to contribute to other projects and initiatives in the local area through the Balerno Village Trust (BVT).
There will be a reasonable return on investment, but Harlaw Hydro Ltd should be seen principally as a social investment rather than a commercial one.
BVT consulted with the City of Edinburgh Council to install a small hydroelectric generator utilising the outflow from Harlaw Reservoir to generate electricity displacing energy generated from fossil fuels. It will be an on-going source of renewable energy in the future.
In 2009 Community Energy Scotland awarded £6,000 to 5 local communities for a micro-hydro feasibility study on the Water of Leith. This initial pilot study included Harlaw (through BVT), Redbraes (through Greener Leith), Mossy Mill (CEC), Harperig (through Kirknewton Development Trust) and Dean Village. The 5 sites were analysed for their generation potential but at this stage only the Harlaw site was deemed to be commercially viable.
The Scottish Government has set a target for generating 100% of the electricity used in Scotland from renewable resources by 2020.