EYCDC have long had an interest in exploring various renewable energy options for the valley communities.
The initial project was carried out in collaboration with the Southern Uplands Partnership (SUP) in 2016.
Its purpose was to identify small-scale renewable energy opportunities – Wind, Hydro and Solar - within the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys. The approach was to look at a wide range of potential opportunities – exposure and wind speed for wind energy, river gradient and flow for hydro energy, aspect and orientation for solar energy – and test them against an equally wide range of constraints such as planning considerations, environmental impact, amenity and recreation conflicts, construction access, grid infrastructure and connectivity, and local energy demand.
The result of the exercise was a series of maps that indicate those opportunity areas which have the highest potential for further development based on the available renewable resource, access suitability and proximity to the local grid network (and conversely, where such developments are currently not feasible). The idea was to share this information by making it publicly available so that land owners and the community could explore possible project developments. The maps would link to GIS-based data sets that could be freely interrogated to assess the feasibility of developing these opportunities.