Luss Estates, which owns some 45,000 acres to the west of Loch Lomond, is supporting plans by three local development trusts to create renewable energy projects which will generate significant sums for local communities.
Last year it was announced that the Estate was working with Helensburgh Renewables, an offshoot of Helensburgh Community Development Trust. Together with engineers Green Cat Renewables, a partnership was formed to build and operate a 5 turbine community wind farm above the town. With returns shared between the three co-developers, the community wind farm is set to generate over its lifespan, some £4million for community projects throughout Helensburgh.
Now, in the north and east of the Estate, a feasibility study is underway to develop a hydro-electricity project in order to raise funds jointly for the Arrochar & Tarbet and Luss & Arden communities. The project, based on the Ant’ Srang Burn above Arrochar, has been initiated by the area’s Community Development Trusts with Luss Estates committed to provide land rights as well as practical support.
Although based on very different commercial models, both schemes reflect Luss Estates’ commitment to finding innovative ways to support local communities.
Simon Miller, Chief Executive of Luss Estates, said: “In recent years, landowners and communities across Scotland have begun exploring new ways of working together, and Luss Estates is no exception. Developments in renewables technologies are opening up opportunities for communities, particularly in rural Scotland, to provide long term funding solutions for important local projects. By combining our land and management resources with the aspirations and drive of local development trusts, you have a potent combination.
“Both Helensburgh Community Wind Farm and the Ant’ Srang Hydro Scheme are projects initiated by, and for, local communities with the potential to deliver transformative returns. Luss Estates supports their aspirations, and looks forward to forging a new style of working relationship with development trusts, as we pursue our vision to protect, preserve and sustainably develop the land, villages and surrounding communities.”