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20 May 2009 04:05:02

Rannoch River hydro project approved in Scotland



Rannoch River hydro project approved in Scotland
A new hydro-based power generation scheme to power 750 homes in the Scottish Highlands has been approved.

The 1.5MW Rannoch River marine project near Claggan, in the north-west of the country, was given the go-ahead by the Scottish government's energy consents and deployment unit (ECDU).

Plans for the facility were submitted by Hydroplan UK, on behalf of Ardtornish Estate Company, in July 2008.

Energy minister Jim Mather said that renewable energy is the key to Scotland's economic recovery.

"Working in harmony with the environment, this scheme will generate clean, green energy, reduce carbon emissions and create 12 new construction jobs," he claimed.

Mr Mather suggested that the Rannoch River scheme could be a "model" for other low-carbon opportunities that exist in the country, adding that hydro power can reduce the effects of climate change, while supporting sustainable growth.

Currently, the ECDU is looking at applications for 29 renewable energy projects in the country, a figure made up of 24 wind farms and five hydro stations.

Schemes are eligible to be considered by Scottish ministers if they are in excess of 50MW for onshore wind farms and power stations or more than 1MW for offshore projects.

The Scottish government intends to derive 31 percent of the country's total electricity demand from renewables by 2011; a figure that it intends to increase to 50 percent by 2020.

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