ACCESS: Assisting Communities to Connect to Electric Sustainable Sources

Improvement of services / infrastructures, Poverty and social exclusion

This project addresses a common issue in rural Scotland: the limited capacity of local grids to take on renewable electricity generation during periods of high generation and/or low demand. This project tackles this problem in through a community-owned hydro turbine ('Garmony hydro'). So, the project will create a new ‘virtual district heating’ option for customers who can’t connect to gas or conventional district heating networks and will trial a new system for balancing local renewable energy generation with local energy demand.

SSE, Community Energy Scotland, Scottish Government

In terms of outcomes, this project addresses energy poverty by lowering energy bills and providing energy services; it also allows community renewables infrastructure to generate a greater revenue, which is in turn re-invested locally through a diversity of initiatives and pathways. • Capacity freed up on the grid is providing additional low-carbon generation to come on-line. • Replication, scaling and use of lessons learns are being applied elsewhere in Scotland. • Creation of jobs • Greater independence from a centralised energy system. • Control over energy future, and energy security.

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.