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In just two weeks, The Highland Community Energy Society (HCES) has raised almost three-quarters of a million pounds.
HCES are offering the general public the opportunity to purchase a community stake, amounting to £1.89 million in total, in hydro projects across the Highlands. The society has outlined six hydro sites, at various stages of development, each in a separate company where the local community at each location will benefit from the profit generated by the projects.
So far the public share offer has raised more than £700,000, however the first round of this share offer aims to raise £900,000 to fund the community stakes in the society’s first two hydro sites. The Highland CES needs the money from this share offer as soon as possible so that the community stake may be taken on and the cash used to build the third site.
HCES want as many people as possible, especially local people, to join and residents living in the Highlands can purchase a stake for as little as £100. The minimum stake for others is £250.
This project is supported by Local Energy Scotland and Energy4All Ltd, a leading social enterprise in the UK for establishing community owned renewable energy schemes.
Director Jim Lee said: ‘We have recruited some local directors who will be helping to canvass to get as many local people involved in this share offer. Looking to the future the society will create a fund for the benefit of the local community closet to each hydro site.’
HCES’ portfolio of hydroelectric projects, all in the Highlands, is a joint venture with a company called Coille Dhealain, owned by Highland Eco Design employees and based in Perthshire.
HCES will hold 25.1 per cent of the share capital in each project company and dividends from the society’s shareholdings in the project companies will be paid back in to HCES. Virtually all of the capital raised in the share offers will be loaned to the project companies, as the share capital is nominal.
If you are interested in finding out more about this project visit hces.coop
Construction at the Laggan site in summer 2018. NO F43 Highland Community Energy Society