Work begins on Glen Cha-aig hydro scheme

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Forestry Commission Scotland and Loch Eil Estates in partnership with RWE Npower Renewables, have announced that construction work on the Gleann Cia - aig (Glen Cha-aig) hydro renewables project is to start in the first week in December.

The £10 million run-of-river hydro scheme will be constructed over the next 15 months and when completed, the project will generate around 3MW of electricity which is enough to meet the annual average energy needs of around 2200 homes.

Access to the hills will be maintained throughout.

Ben Lennon, Planning Manager with the Commission’s team in Lochaber, said:

"A lot of effort has gone in to preparing the site including the harvesting of mature conifers so we are delighted to finally get this project underway.

“We’ve worked closely with the developers to make sure that the project does not adversely impact the Cha-aig Falls, which is a great tourism hot-spot for Lochaber. People will still be able to come here and enjoy the falls – and the picnic site will remain open too.”

Visitor safety will be a top priority throughout the project so there will be some restrictions on access through Glen Cha-aig but access to the hills and wider landscape beyond will be maintained. Information signs will be put out at key access points and hill walking organisations will be notified of the works ahead of time so that walkers can plan their routes and continue to enjoy the Lochaber hills.

Duncan Morrison of RWE Npower Renewables said;

"As the leading developer of small scale hydro in the country, we are delighted to be working with the Commission on this project.

“We anticipate that this scheme will be producing green electricity by Spring 2014 and we will do everything we can to minimise any disruption through the construction phase.

“This is a great opportunity for us and once completed the Cha Aig Hydro scheme will be our 13th hydro scheme in Scotland – and one of 22 that we operate across the UK.”

Forestry Commission Scotland is making its contribution to the production of clean and renewable energy and helping to meet the Scottish Government’s targets of generating 100% of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020. 

Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate

2.  For news, events and recreation information log on to For Twitter:

3. For more information about RWE Npower Renewables visit 

4. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.