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Scotland government approves two small hydros

The government of Scotland has approved applications by two utilities to build two small hydro projects totaling 6 MW. The Scottish government's Energy Consents Unit approved an application by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to build the 2.5-MW Chaorach hydroelectric project on the Allt Coire Chaorach River, east of Crianlarich, Scotland. (HNN 4/3/07) The run-of-river project is to divert water from Allt Coire Chaoroach and from Allt Coire Chlach. An underground pipeline is to carry the water to a powerhouse that will deliver electricity to the local grid by underground cable. SSE said the project only will operate when sufficient natural flows are available. The Energy Consents Unit also approved an application by RWE npower plc to build the 3.5-MW Black Rock project on the Glass River near Evanton in Ross-shire. The run-of-river project, which will use natural river flows, received no objections among the 16 representations received by the government concerning the application. "Harnessing new hydropower brings economic benefits while reducing emissions and there is a commercial future in the huge untapped hydro potential up and down Scotland," Energy Minister Jim Maher said December 4. "These two schemes are prime examples -- operating in harmony with the environment they will be able to power over 3,500 homes -- a tangible demonstration that new hydropower has a bright future in Scotland." The Energy Consents Unit is processing 32 renewable project applications including 24 wind farms, seven hydro projects, and one wave project, with more applications expected. The Scottish government has determined 22 energy applications since May 2007, including 16 renewable and one non-renewable project.

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