Donside Community Archimedean Screw Hydropower Scheme

The Hydro scheme is located in Donside Village in Tillydrone, on the banks of the River Don. The Village is a relatively new, sustainable community based on the site of an old papermill. The hydro scheme will use the existing mill lade with the addition of a 100kW Archimedes screw. Donside Community Hydro plan to raise the money to build the scheme via a community share offer. Aberdeen Community Energy says Donside Hydro will generate £30,000 every year for community initiatives.

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Photo Credit: Highland Eco-Design

The scheme which is at design stage will generate enough electricity to power 122 households.

System Elements

Available head 1.75m
Max. flow rate 10,000 l/s
Screw bladed length 5.61m
100kW Archimedes Screw
Screw weight 20 tonnes

The proposed Donside hydropower scheme

The proposed Donside hydropower scheme

Community Benefits

Aberdeen Community Energy (Ace), a community benefit society set up by members of the Donside Community Association (DCA), will be launching a community share offer over the next few weeks to back the Donside Hydropower scheme.

The proposed hydropoweer scheme will draw water from the River Don to create renewable electricity that will be sold to the national grid. Surplus profits from the initiative will be channelled into a community fund that will be used to achieve social and environmental benefits for local, deprived communities. Ace together with their partners at the DCA have been working towards launching the scheme for the past three years and are finally in a position where they can share the project with the world, and open it up to investment.
The Donside Hydropower scheme will help Scotland on its journey towards 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and it will also create a sustainable community that truly works for its inhabitants and riverside setting. Aberdeen Community Energy are already working closely with members of the Donside and Tillydrone areas to identify priorities for the community fund, with their immediate focus being on improving the riverside for public use. They are also looking at the longer term outcomes, and have set up a social enterprise called Sinergy that will route surplus income into projects that will deliver sustainable benefits for the wider area.

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With construction planned for late May 2016, Ace said potential investors in the scheme could expect an “ethical, low-risk investment opportunity” delivering around a 5% return on their investment. Ace, which has so far raised around £150,000 from loans, grants and investment from Ace directors, is also seeking conversations with businesses or individuals who may be interested in supporting the initiative financially in the short term, as either a lender or investor.
The community share offer will be available for investment from April 2016. A launch event will take place at an Aberdeen city centre location in the weeks after the share offer is live.

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