SIMEC, the international energy business that is part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, is pleased to announce that its Kinlochleven hydro-electric power station has increased generation to its highest level for nearly 20 years following a recent upgrade to capacity.
Kinlochleven, which was acquired by SIMEC in 2016 and is located on the JAHAMA Highland Estate lands, last week generated an average of 23.27MW of clean green power – producing sufficient electricity to power a city the size of Inverness.
The increase, to the highest output since 2002, follows the first phase of a significant investment programme undertaken by SIMEC to reinstate defunct side-stream intakes and improve the efficiency of water collection on the hydro scheme. The outcome represents a step-up in clean energy to help power Scottish homes and industry.
SIMEC was previously accredited to produce 19.5 MW of power under the Scottish Government’s Renewable Obligation scheme. Legislative changes to the Government’s scheme have made it economic to increase capacity above this level at Kinlochleven.
Kinlochleven was the first major hydro-electric project in Britain, built between 1905 and 1909. The scheme harnasses water power from the Black Water chain of lochs through a 13km reservoir. The Blackwater dam, which serves Kinlochleven, is the longest in the Scottish Highlands.
SIMEC also owns the nearby Lochaber hydro station, which produces power for ALVANCE British Aluminium, the only smelter remaining in the UK.
SIMEC has committed to invest further in renewable energy on its estate lands in the Highlands by applying for consent to build a £158 million Highland wind farm at Glenshero and is in the construction and development phase of further hydro projects across the estate.
Jay Hambro, Chief Executive of SIMEC Energy and Chief Investment Officer of the GFG Alliance, said: “Green energy will be vital in keeping the lights on in Scotland for future generations and SIMEC is committed to playing a key role. SIMEC is delighted that we’ve been able to increase capacity at Kinlochleven by 20 percent, producing enough clean energy to light and heat homes in the biggest city in the region.
“GFG Alliance is one of Scotland’s most significant investors with LIBERTY, ALVANCE and JAHAMA having invested well over £500 million in Scotland to date, and employing more than 400 people in country. We are committed to schemes that work to the benefit of both local communities and the environment.”