Aberdeen Community Energy is a multi-award winning Community Benefit Society, was set up in 2015 by the Donside Community Association (DCA) to build, own and operate the Donside Hydro Scheme on behalf of the community.

ACE’s vision is to deliver on the founder’s ethos of Donside Village as a sustainable community, one that truly works for local residents, visitors and the area’s natural riverside setting . We are dedicated to delivering a project that is aligned with local and national government policy on energy, climate change and sustainable communities.

The ACE team work incredibly hard and successfully delivered the fully functioning Donside Hydro in September 2016.



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Our Society Rules & Certificate of Registration

ACE Directors 


Sinclair Laing

Chair & Founder

Management Committee Member of Donside Community Association​

Sinclair is a passionate environmentalist and strong believer in the power of civil society to deliver communal good. Having graduated with an Honours Degree in Environmental Science from Aberdeen University, he selected to stay in Aberdeen to establish his career in sustainability and community development. Sinclair has ten years’ experience managing and delivering policy, strategy and projects at local to EU level on a range of themes, including community empowerment and sustainable energy. He now leads a team of 18 strategically focused public sector environment & sustainability professionals, focusing on protecting and enhancing the built and natural environment in, around and beyond Aberdeen.

Sinclair also dedicates most of his spare time to encouraging and supporting communities in Aberdeen, including in his home of Donside Village, to co-create strong community structures aiming to develop and deliver community ambitions, as evidenced by his founding roles in Donside Community Association and Aberdeen Community Energy, as well as other projects.

Sinclair brings all of his collective experience and boundless enthusiasm to his role as Director of Aberdeen Community Energy.


Jane Fullerton 


Chair of Donside Community Association

Jane Fullerton has lived in the Donside Village for over 3 years and is currently Chair of the Donside Community Association. She has a background in working with disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised people. Jane studied at Robert Gordon’s Grays School of Art, specialising in Ceramics, and then went on to obtain a degree in Secondary Art teaching.  Following this, Jane spent eleven years in London, during which time she completed an Art Therapy degree at Goldsmiths University. During her time in London, Jane worked for Inner London Probation Service as an Art Therapist and ceramic teacher, working with offenders to try to stop the cycle of offending/prison/offending.

On returning to Aberdeen in the early 90’s, Jane then worked with a local homeless charity, supporting people who were homeless and trying to get back on their feet and into accommodation. For the past thirteen years Jane has managed a residential unit for young people at the point of leaving care, with the aim of helping these young people develop the skills and emotional resilience required for them to be able to live successfully and productively in our communities. Jane has a keen interest in social equality and inclusion and feels passionately about helping individuals to be aspirational and achieve their goals.

Jane also feels strongly about environmental issues and is a keen recycler. The prospect of the Hydro project, the wonderful setting of the village and the sustainability aspirations of Donside development were all aspects that promoted Jane’s wish to live in Donside and take an active role within the community. Her communication skills and her passion with regard to inclusion, encouraging community engagement and taking better care of our planet are attributes that she brings to the role of director.

Jim Currie

Finance Director

Treasurer of Donside Community Association

Jim Currie is the DCA’s treasurer, which is appropriate as he began his working life in accountancy. This lasted for twelve years until Jim decided to leave the “rat race” for the more “people based” work in the field of social care. He worked in children’s homes before taking up roles working with people with learning disabilities. He progressed in this field and took on managerial, service development and quality assurance roles.

His career then combined both his accounting background and his experience of social care as he joined Aberdeen City Council (ACC) in procurement roles within social care. He now works within the Housing Department of ACC managing contracts for housing support services between the council and external providers. In this role he gained qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Housing

His study of housing coincided with the opportunity to come to live in Donside and this brought together many of the positive aspects of the housing policy he had studied; a mixed tenure development being built on reclaimed brownfield land as part of an urban regeneration project. The beautiful setting and wildlife also played a part! The desire to make the most of this community lead to his involvement with the DCA. It is a pleasure to be involved as members of the community give of their talents to improve the area. Involvement with the Hydro project is a fantastic opportunity to impact the community for many years to come.

Jim is a passionate believer of renewable energy and the prospect of getting involved in the Hydro scheme was too much to pass up.  Bringing a clean, sustainable energy source to the heart of the city of Aberdeen fits with Jim’s ethos and principals of urban regeneration and his involvement has been pivotal.

 Mark BraggMark Bragg (MWeldI)

Technical Director

Mark is an chartered engineer working as a surveyor of mechanical, structural, electrical and subsea equipment in Aberdeen. He’s been passionate about renewable energy from an early age and even enjoys generating his own heat and power at home from solar PV and biofuels.

Mark is privileged to serve on the Board of Directors for Wester Derry Wind Co-Operative and had no hesitation investing in similar schemes such as Braemar Hydro, Heartlands Wind, Edinburgh Solar and the Small Wind Co-Operative. He believes the Co-Operative model is an open, honest and transparent one for community benefit. He’s brings to ACE the benefit of his experience of rotating equipment, power generation and service engineering. He is a Committee member of the North East branch of The Welding Institute and the Scottish Canoe Association Hydro power access group.

As a “STEM“net ambassador Mark encourages youngsters at Dyce Academy and Satrosphere Science Centre to enjoy their “Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths” subjects. So, what better example to show them than a real micro power station on their doorstep!

Mark encourages you to enjoy becoming a part of this exciting renewable venture, which everyone can have a financial and social benefit from for many future years.


Malcolm Combe

Legal Director

Malcolm is a lecturer at the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen. He was appointed to that role in 2011 and he lives in the city. He is a qualified solicitor (in Scots and English law, although he only retains a Scottish practising certificate) and has a particular interest in property law, land reform and legal education. The latter is linked to his role as faculty director of the Aberdeen Law Project, a student initiative that aims to address access to justice issues in and around Aberdeen.

Away from work, he enjoys music, and is the Vice-President of Aberdeen Gaelic Choir.  He has board experience from being a director of a company called La Banda Limited, which uses music as a means to bridge cultural differences (which it did this year by putting on a successful show at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, with seventeen nationalities represented in a performing orchestra), and being a trustee of the Stair Society (a Scottish legal history society). He plans to demit office from both these roles in 2017 and 2018 respectively. From 2013-14 he served as an adviser to the Scottish Government appointed Land Reform Review Group.  His staff profile at work can be found here:


He blogs at: