Scottish Minister Richard Lochhead visits Nethermills Hydro Scheme


Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work visited the Nethermills Hydro Scheme in Ayr this week. The hydro scheme, currently under construction, is owned by Energy Agency Renewables, a subsidiary of the Energy Agency.

The Minister was very enthusiastic about the project describing it as inspirational and innovative. He highlighted how Scotland was going through a major transformation and hopes that projects like this spread across the country will make a difference to Scotland’s route to a ‘net zero’ future.  He said “Ensuring a just transition to net zero – making sure we take action against climate change in a way that is fair and benefits everyone across the country – is fundamentally important, and the work that has been undertaken to develop the Nethermills Hydro Scheme is a great example of the collective, inclusive approach we must take.

I was very pleased to hear that the power generated from the Scheme will be used in a way which benefits education facilities in the local area, and the wider community, and look forward to the completion of the project bringing many benefits to the people of Ayrshire”

This was followed up with a visit to Annbank where a housing improvement programme is taking place.  Insulation is being installed to improve the warmth and comfort of householders and to lower their fuel bills.  Residents were delighted the Minister took time to ask them for feedback on the improvements to their homes.

Liz Marquis, Director of Energy Agency said “The Energy Agency was delighted the Minister visited these ground breaking schemes.  We are very grateful to all our partners, in particular SEPA, Ayrshire Rivers Trust and Ayrshire College who have helped make the Nethermills hydro scheme a reality. Future income will be spent on projects to alleviate fuel poverty for the next 50 years.  External wall insulation projects funded by the Scottish Government help transform homes and reduce carbon emissions whilst lowering fuel bills. This is so important across Scotland for health, wellbeing and transforming communities”.