25 February 15

Hydro scheme completion demonstrates investment value as VCT deadline looms

Triple Point announces the commissioning of its latest hydro scheme within its portfolio of eight Scottish hydroelectric projects under construction.

The 469kW scheme on the Abhainn Shalachain river on the Morvern Peninsula on the west coast of Scotland was switched on in January – a month ahead of schedule.

In an innovative move, the people of Morvern were the first community group in Scotland to invest their own money in a hydro scheme. The scheme, which will benefit from the Feed-in-Tariff regime, is part of a hydro funding programme by Triple Point in the sector, working in partnership with Green Highland Renewables, the Scottish hydro specialist.

Ben Beaton, Partner at Triple Point, commented:

"At Triple Point we identified hydro as an attractive proposition for our investors nearly five years ago. Having built up our expertise in this arena over this period of time, we have invested £21 million so far on behalf of our clients.

"VCT's have the capability to be both an income generating and growth product for investors, if utilised correctly. More and more we are seeking to respond to investors' demands for long term, inflation linked cash flow generation and with VCTs that can be paid out on a regular basis by utilising the tax free dividends on offer. This type of non-correlated predictable tax free income is especially useful for investors looking to supplement their pensions.

"In the case of hydro, though, it's now or never, as the window to invest in hydro through a VCT closes on 31 March."

The £30,000 stake by the people of Morvern will provide the community with additional regular income in addition to the standard £5,000 per annum per megawatt community benefit payment associated with onshore renewable projects.

Commenting on the switch on, Green Highland Renewables Chief Executive Officer Richard Round said:

"We're pleased to see this project up and generating full power ahead of schedule. It is good news for the local community, Green Highland Renewables and Triple Point, who we are working in partnership with to develop a portfolio of schemes."