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Ayr MSP praises new River Ayr hydropower project

Ayr MSP, Siobhian Brown, attended the opening of a new hydroelectric power scheme on the River Ayr on Monday 28th February 2022.

The Nethermills Hydro Scheme was built by Energy Agency Renewables Ltd, which fully owns and operates the project. The company is a not-for-profit subsidiary of a local charity, the Energy Agency, which is based at Auchincruive, Ayr. After several years of development, construction started on the site in the river in April 2021.

The scheme will generate 83kW of green electricity to neighboring Ayrshire College, with excess sent to the electricity grid. It will produce around 320,000kWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of supplying 110 houses. The proceeds from the sale of electricity and associated feed-in tariffs will be used to fund projects which reduce fuel poverty in the local area.

The hydro turbine is a run-of-river scheme designed to be low impact, environmentally friendly and fish-friendly. It features new smolt chutes and eel passes, which will assist the passage of migratory salmon and eels. A fish counter is being installed in one of the fish passes by Marine Scotland Science which will benefit the management of the River Ayr catchment fishery. The scheme will also act as an attraction and education source for local schools and colleges. It will prevent the emission of an estimated 147 tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas annually and continue to generate green energy for many decades.

Commenting Ayr SNP MSP, Siobhian Brown, said:

“It was a pleasure to attend the opening of the new Nethermills Hydro Scheme on the River Ayr. This fantastic initiative will produce clean green energy for Ayrshire College and excess amounts will be sold back to the grid, with funds going to support local projects which reduce fuel poverty. I congratulate the team at Energy Agency Renewables for their hard work and dedication in building this community asset. The Scottish Government is committed to meeting our net zero targets and schemes like Nethermills in Ayr will play an important role in achieving these.”

Liz Marquis, Director of Energy Agency Renewables said:

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the opening of this important new hydro scheme which will generate green electricity now and well into the future. It will also generate essential funding to the local area to assist our ongoing work in tackling fuel poverty. The success in building this scheme has only been possible due to the efforts of our contractors and many partners and I extend my thanks to them for their hard work and dedication.”


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