Albion Community Power (ACP), which builds and operates community-scale renewable projects around the UK, received a £10m commitment from Greater Manchester Pension Fund to bring the project’s fundraising total to £70m.

This adds to £50m already invested in ACP by the Green Investment Bank (GIB) and a further £10m from Strathclyde Pension Fund.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, chair of Greater Manchester Pension Fund said: “We are excited to be joining GIB and Strathclyde Pension Fund as investors in ACP and we look forward to supporting the continued expansion of community-scale renewable energy schemes across the UK. ACP will play a key role in this regard as the pressure to diversify beyond carbon-based energy sources becomes even greater.”

The announcement of new funding for ACP comes as the group launched a new hydropower scheme with almost 500KW capacity on the River Arkaig in Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands.

The £3.3m project will generate around 2.3GWh of electricity per year, enough to power around 550 homes. Water will be diverted from the river down a weir to turn two 250KW Archimedes’ screws to generate power.

Local benefits

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said the Arkaig project was a reminder of the benefit of community renewable energy projects for generating more affordable energy. He said: “The fact that yet another of the UK’s largest institutional investors has given its backing to ACP is testament to the efficiency and reliability of such schemes and the excellent work ACP is doing to highlight their benefits.”

The Arkaig project will see 50% of its electricity sold directly to local users, with the rest of the energy expected to be sent to straight end customers.

ACP currently has around £35m worth of renewable energy projects producing renewable energy for communities.

Matt Field

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