Private investment funds farm-based hydro project
Venture capitalist Albion Ventures has invested £1.3m in a 300kW hydropower scheme in rural Wales that has won support from local farmers.
The scheme, which is being developed by engineering firm Dragon Hydro Limited, is expected to start generating electricity in the third quarter of 2013. It is estimated that the project, which will be built on the Afon Cadair River in Gwnedd, will generate 1,300MWh of electricity per year, enough to power up to 300 households.
Gary Markham, the partner in Cader Idris Farms and Estate which owns the land said: “This project fits well with our existing organic farming business; hydro power being a natural low impact activity in this fragile landscape. We are delighted to have both Albion and Dragon Hydro to develop the project, both have demonstrated considerable professionalism whilst being sympathetic to local farming businesses.”
This is the first investment into hydro power by Albion Ventures, one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK, but it is their seventh investment into renewable energy – a sector they are keen to expand into.
Albion Ventures partner, Michael Kaplan said: “This investment highlights Albion’s continued commitment to the renewables sector. The investment will provide attractive long-term returns for our shareholders. Hydropower is the oldest renewable technology and we are very pleased that the government continues to support small-scale hydro through feed-in tariffs.”