Community Group: Mull and Iona Community Trust
Location: Isle of Mull, Argyll
Date of Commission: June 2015
Size: 400 kW
In 2010 Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) secured grant funding from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) for a feasibility study to investigate generating power from a hydro – electric scheme.
The grant allowed MICT to commission a report on the options for hydro-electric generating sites around the Isle of Mull. The report identified around 5 possible locations, and in December 2010, Garmony was selected as the best potential site.
A successful application was made for a CARES pre-planning loan at this stage to fund further feasibility and development work. Mott McDonald was commissioned to develop the planning and SEPA licence applications. The project was designed by Campbell’s of Doune. CARES supported the Garmony project from an early stage, with a loan of £150,000 which covered all the development costs until financial close. GEM also secured £434k loan finance from the Scottish Investment Bank who delivers the Renewable Energy investment Fund (REIF) on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Garmony hydro began generating electricity on 05/06/15. Ownership of the scheme has been transferred to a recently created community organisation, Green Energy Mull (GEM), which is a Community Benefit Society. It is estimated that over the first 20 years of the life of the project, the scheme will generate a turnover of £5.04m and nett proceeds of up to £2.4m will go into the Waterfall Fund for a variety of projects that will benefit the communities of Mull and Iona.