Our Spring 2023 newsletter is now available to download
Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society (RBCHS) has given a grant of £10,000 to local charity Broke Not Broken to support its work on alleviating fuel poverty.
Elspeth King, a Director of RBCHS commented, “The Board of Rumbling Bridge CHS is very pleased to be able to assist Broke Not Broken in their work on fuel poverty. This grant of £10,000 follows on from one of £5,000 we gave in April 2022. It is fitting for us as a Community Energy Society to support this crucial work in helping those affected by high energy costs.”
Annie McCormack, chair of Broken Not Broken, said, “Broke Not Broken are delighted to accept this donation of £10,000 from the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society to go towards energy payments for people locally experiencing fuel poverty. Being supported by a local project like this shows us a way forward that we believe is sustainable and creates the kind of Scotland we want to live in. “
This year the charity has seen a 70% increase in foodbank usage and over 50% increase in fuel payments over the year so far (up until end Oct), within Kinross-shire alone. Payments made towards energy costs total over £15,000 and the average payment made was £129. This includes not only gas and electric but also oil.
All of the charity’s fuel payments are made through referral. These referrals come through a variety of channels including Health and Social Care partnerships, Schools, Doctors, Women’s Aid, SAAFA, PKC Helpline, Housing departments and tenancy support through Perth & Kinross Council, Hillcrest and Caledonia Housing Associations. Broke Not Broken also works with The Heat Project based in Blairgowrie to give unbiased expert advice on energy, bills and how to get the most for one’s money.
Accompanying Photograph shows Elspeth King of Rumbling Bridge CHS (left) and Annie McCormack of Broke Not Broken (right)
19th November 2021
Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society has awarded a total of £21,000 in grants to local facilities and events from its surplus profits made in 2020/21. Grants ranging from £500 to £5,000 were awarded to the Crook of Devon Hall, the Coronation Hall in Muckhart, the Moubray Hall in Powmill Fossoway Church Hall and Muckhart Parish Church Hall. The Muckhart Horticultural Society and the Fossoway Flower Show also benefited.
These grants are to support local village halls and events which have been adversely affected by a lack of income due to difficulties caused by the Covid pandemic restrictions.
Hugh Wallace, Chair of the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society Board said: “We are delighted to have been able to award these grants. This brings the total donated to local community projects by the Society to over £100,000 since the hydro scheme launched in 2016″.
The weather isn’t always favourable to us in the renewable energy industry. Recent storms and heavy rain have brought its share of challenges. Firstly, in December a large tree fell into the weir that caused a restriction to the weir cleaning. Our maintenance team were quick to take action and immediately cut away any problematic branches keeping the impact on production as low as possible.
February brought some heavy rain and thunder storms which resulted in further damage. The rainfall caused flooding which meant that there was a lot of sediment built up which had gauged out parts of the river bank on the pipeline side both up and downstream. These were repaired using sediment as backfill as this contained some surprisingly large stones. This was then sealed off with concrete to hopefully prevent a reoccurrence. We also noticed a bent spline shaft on the valve for closing off the penstock which presumably was the result of being hit by a log. This has now been replaced too.
In early August we were hit by a lightening strike which knocked out the weir cleaner motor, drive and head pond sensor cable that links to the powerhouse. Repairs saw us out of action for a week but overall August was still well ahead of budget.
We’ve also had a new G59 meter delivered as part of the UK electricity industry’s changing protocols. As the existing one actually complied, it was re programmed with the new one left as a spare. Hopefully the more accommodating settings will result in less outages and damage due to grid issues. Time will tell but so far so good!
The Board of Ofgem held their June meeting in Scotland and a number of the Directors, including the Chairman, took the opportunity to visit Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro.
Hugh and Catherine Wallace of Glendevon Energy, Rumbling Bridge’s development and operations partner, hosted the visit and had organised an introductory presentation and site visit for the Ofgem party. Jim Lee and John Malone of Energy4All were also present.
Jim and John were able to describe the community and co-operative aspects of the project. The Ofgem representatives were very interested in the fund-raising process. Jim and John welcomed Ofgem’s positive and active engagement with the community energy sector and also raised and number of general points for discussion, including:
- Difficulty for co-ops to sell generated energy to members
- Observation on the development of electricity networks and concerns around the control and use of system and customer data
- The need for the community voice to be heard during on-going “Smart Grid” development
- Our experience that new export meter installation or change of operator is extremely problematic and costly
The Ofgem Directors were receptive to these points and there was time for more detailed discussion during the tour. The visit was a real opportunity to raise awareness of the community energy sector with Ofgem and some of the issues that the sector faces. Energy4All will maintain and build on the contacts made.
Local Community Event –Saturday 28th October 2017
You are invited to visit the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Scheme. There will be a walk down to the Powerhouse then the option to walk up to the intake weir. Society Directors and technical people will be on hand to answer your questions.
Join us at the Crook of Devon Village Hall at 2pm for a cup of tea with members of the Society where buses will take you to the site
Meet us adjacent to the Semab School car park at 2:30pm prompt
It you plan to attend please email email@example.com
We are delighted to report that as of Friday 17th March 2017 we have generated 1GWh of power, almost half our annual budget.
We were delighted to welcome under graduates from Dundee University to the Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Site.
Hugh Wallace (Director) gave a tour of the pump room and hydro site and answered some very thoughtful and well prepared questions from the students.
The weather was also kind, to the relief of all involved!
The Open Day and launch event hosted on the 28th October 2016 was a huge success.
Local people along with members and industry professionals were invited to attend the event, which included a guided walk and a switching on ceremony at the pump house. The scheme was officially launched by Paul Wheelhouse MP – the Scottish Energy Minister.
An evening reception was held at Tullibole Castle by kind permission of Lord and Lady Moncrieff.
Visit the Gallery to see further pictures of the event.
The Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society
The official launch and AGM of Rumbling Bridge Community Hydro Society will take place Friday 28th October 2016.
Members and other invited guests will take a guided walk from the Crook of Devon Village Hall via the Weir, pipe route and Rumbling Bridge gorge to the Power House. The Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse will officially launch the project. A drinks reception will take place at the Village Hall , followed by the AGM.
Lord and Lady Moncrieff have kindly given permission for us to hold a members and landowners party at Tullibole Castle in the evening. Limited tickets were available and issued on a first come first served basis.
An open event for the community will be organised shortly to take place in Spring 2017.
Press Information – please download the press release below.