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U.K. utility invests in Scotland small hydro developer

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has acquired a 33 percent stake in Scotland-based Green Highland Renewables Ltd., a developer of small and medium-sized hydropower projects. SSE paid 750,000 pounds (US$1.46 million) for the minority stake in Green Highland, which is part of the Caledon Group, founded in March by property developer Iain Wotherspoon. Green Highland focuses on helping landowners and community groups develop small-scale hydro schemes that use a small part of a stream, rather than damming a river. SSE began life as the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board in 1943. In 1998, as Scottish Hydro Electric, it merged with Southern Electric to form SSE. SSE officials said hydro continues to play a part in the utility's plans, including the 100-MW Glendoe hydro project, Britain's first big hydro scheme in 40 years, which SSE is building on Loch Ness. (HNN 10/23/07) �But small-scale hydro has an important role to play in fully developing renewable energy in rural areas for the benefit of communities and landowners,� Dave Gardner, head of Ventures at SSE, said August 5. �Green Highland Renewables provides us with a strong small hydro offering and SSE is able to provide the knowledge and expertise that comes from operating hydroelectric power stations for 60 years.�

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