In 2012 a 2MW hydro scheme at Glenfalloch, capable of powering 1,600 homes, almost 25% of the total number within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (LL&TTNP), was officially opened by the UK Energy Minister.
Recently work has started on two further run-of- river hydro schemes - Upper Falloch and Derrydarroch. One further scheme at Ben Glas also has consent. The total capacity of the 4 schemes stands at 6.1MW enough to keep the lights on for 4,800 homes and representing considerable progress towards the renewable energy targets set out in the National Park's Partnership Plan 2012-2017.
David Lowes, managing partner of Glenfalloch Estates said “We are very pleased at last to see the start of construction on these schemes. It has been a long journey to this point and our thanks are due to our financial partners and to the LL&TNPA, SNH and other agencies who have worked with us along the way.
“The hydro schemes are a significant boost to the estate, enabling us to invest more in our activities and to play our part in furthering the aims of the National Park in managing and protecting this incredibly beautiful yet sensitive part of Scotland.”
Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority added, “We are pleased to be supporting Glenfalloch in realising the potential of the estate to generate hydro-electric power and have been delighted at the response to our innovative planning guidance, which has led to more than 30 hydro schemes being approved through our planning system in the last few years.”
It provides landowners and developers with guidance on suitable sites in the National Park, best practice in design and advice on the Planning process.
The 10,000ha Glenfalloch Estate includes 5 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), a Special Protection Area for Golden Eagles (SPA), A Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and is also part of the Loch Lomond National Scenic Area. Like many Highland estates, activities on the estate include farming and deer and fisheries management, B&B and a campsite. The estate is increasing its investment in conserving and improving the natural heritage, in line with the National Park’s objectives.