This is the text of an open letter we wrote to the Trust on 9th June.
FAO Lochgoilhead Community Trust:
RE: Donich Hydro Scheme
Just to follow on from the questions I had during the recent Community Council AGM. There were a number of points outstanding, and it seemed perhaps best to put these in writing to allow for them to be considered/responded to by the appropriate members of either the Trust or Lochgoilhead Energy.
From the information passed on at the CC meeting, I understand that the current intention is to invest in 20% of the Donich Hydro scheme at a cost of £900,000, and that the invitation to invest documentation is due from the developer on the 12th of June.
From that a number of questions arise
• Will it be possible for the community to review the invitation to tender prior to a final decision to invest being taken? Obviously this is a large investment for our community to make and it is important that everyone gets the opportunity to see the detail of the scheme as provided by the developer. As we all know the developer has shown a reluctance to communicate with the community, so this may be one of our few opportunities to get additional information on their plans.
• Will the community be able to review the financial and legal advice received from our advisors relating to our investment in the Hydro scheme, prior to the final decision to invest being taken?
• In terms of our investment, is there likely to be any clauses relating to what happens if the developer is unable to meet the timescales required for them to avoid a precipitous drop in the FIT tariffs available? My understanding from the CC meeting is that preliminary accreditation was granted in October 2014 and as such the developer must have the scheme commissioned and working by October 2016 to avoid this concern materialising.
• With regards to the finance being put in place to allow the community to invest. Do we have information from REIF on the interest rate and term of the loan and also on any deposit or collateral required to receive this funding?
Thank you for your time and consideration of these points.