The OFGEM accredited hydro power station project, based at Inverloch, east of Dalmally, got up and running in July 2016, with the original development having been funded by Downing Crowd’s wider investment business, Downing LLP, which has over a third of its £700m funds under management invested in renewable energy.
The sizeable new funds raised by Crowd Bond investors will help support the ongoing operation of the Lochy Hydro Project, which has already made a promising start with electricity generated above forecast for the first three months. The hydro power station is valued at £8.3 million in total, which is based on the actual cost of construction.
The power station generates ‘run-of-river’ hydroelectricity which redirects water flow from a weir downhill to the power station, where gravity creates energy to spin turbines and generate electricity. Unlike traditional hydro power generation, run-of-river does not require a large reservoir and projects tend to be smaller scale.
Commenting on the Lochy Hydro project, Julia Groves, Head of Crowdfunding, said: “If you think crowdfunding is all about investing in high-risk start-up businesses, think again. Different types of crowdfunding often get lumped together as ‘extremely risky’ but crowd bonds are a simpler type of investment and, provided investors fully understand the relevant risks, they can offer attractive returns against a backdrop of record-low interest rates.
“Moreover, at Downing Crowd we only invest in established, UK businesses, making our Crowd Bonds a great way to see your money make an impact in your area. We are immensely proud of our involvement with the Lochy Project to date and have some exciting prospects in the wider Scottish market in the pipeline too.”
Carl Crompton, Director of Nightjar Sustainable Energy, said: “Scotland’s abundant renewable energy resources continue to bring huge opportunities, realised in our latest project on the River Lochy. Seeking more traditional forms of funding still proves challenging for many businesses but thanks to the support of our crowdfunding investors we can be confident that the Lochy Project will build on the success of its first few months of operation and go on to become a productive energy source for years to come.”