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Bank supports Garbhaig hydro scheme redevelopment

19th January 2015

A Lochgilphead-based renewable energy company is set to revitalise its portfolio of hydropower installations after receiving significant funding support from Clydesdale Bank.

CRF Hydro Power has switched to Clydesdale Bank to help support the redevelopment of its Garbhaig hydropower scheme. The Bank is providing £3.85m in new funding, as part of a multi-million pound package, to enable CRF Hydro to establish a 2MW storage hydropower scheme at the site in Wester Ross.

The deal was completed by Adam Heslop, Director for Renewable Energy at Clydesdale Bank – based at its Business and Private Banking Centre in Edinburgh.

The Garbhaig hydro scheme was originally launched in 1997 and currently has a maximum output of 915KW. The redevelopment will see the power station move downhill and its generating capacity more than double to 2MW – enough to power approximately 1,800 homes.

Founded in 2009, CRF Hydro Power Ltd is was formed out of CR Foster and Partners, which was established in 1986. The company is owned by brothers, Roy and Martin Foster, and operates six facilities across the North West Highlands, of which the new Garbhaig scheme will be the largest.

Clydesdale Bank’s support will also help the company deliver the Merk hydro project in Glen Fyne which is a joint venture with the local community. Expected to go live in early 2015, the Merk scheme will deliver 1MW of energy.

Roy Foster, co-owner of CRF Hydro Power, said: “We are extremely pleased to now be in a position to be progressing our redevelopment plans for Garbhaig. Schemes like it and Merk have a key role to play in delivering sustainable energy while also playing an important role in their local communities.

“We’ve been impressed by the level of knowledge of the renewable sector which Clydesdale Bank’s team has displayed. That has been instrumental in allowing us to complete this deal quickly and put our plans into action.”

Adam Heslop, Director for Renewable Energy at Clydesdale Bank, said: “Hydro power and other renewable energy projects will have an increasingly prominent part to play in Scotland so we are pleased to be supporting the enhancement of the Garbhaig facility.

“Roy Foster and his team have more than 30 years’ experience of the sector and operating in and around local communities in the North West. Their growth ambitions in the coming years are impressive and will further boost the rural economy.”

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