A community project is hoping to build a hydropower plant at Harlaw Reservoir in Balerno, south-west of Edinburgh (CREDIT: Mike Beeson)

Community co-operative formed to fund hydro plant

A newly-formed co-operative is trying to raise more than £300,000 to generate clean, renewable energy from a reservoir.

Community project Harlaw Hydro hopes to harness the waters of Harlaw Reservoir in Balerno, south-west of Edinburgh, by replacing a former hydropower installation that dates back to the early 1900s and connecting it to the national grid.

More than £90,000 has already been pledged to the venture, which is being supported by The Co-operative Enterprise Hub and follows a near 10 per cent increase in such enterprises over the past two years.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative's head of community and co-operative investment, said: "There is significant potential for community-owned renewable energy to deliver local economic and social benefits while helping to hit national energy needs and climate change goals.

"Enabling people to control, generate and benefit from their own renewable energy can contribute to a step-change in people's thinking about energy and provide a catalyst for a clean energy revolution across the country."

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