The City of Edinburgh (CEC) is our landlord, the owner and operator of the reservoirs that hold the water for our micro-hydro scheme and it is very keen to promote community action and green energy projects. In many ways CEC has been very supportive of our project, in March 2013 the council approved favourable heads of terms of a lease for the site we need and a number of officers of CEC have willingly met with us to help move the project forward. However several items have moved very slowly and are in danger of causing significant delay as well as frustration.
Construction on the site could be underway now with the prospect of green energy being generated in September/ October this year but the heads of terms for the lease have only just been translated into a legal lease (received by our lawyers May 2014 14 months after council approval). If the lease isn’t agreed within the next month, which will be fast for the legal profession, there is a real prospect of construction being delayed until spring next year. There are other areas, such as tree management where progress needs to be made as well but the lease is the single biggest challenge at present.