The site

The site of the Donside hydro. Click image to see in Google maps.

The micro hydro scheme is located at a bend of the River Don, at the edge of the former papermill which is now being re-developed for a variety of other purposes, including residential housing, with the riverside being developed by the community for recreational use and wildlife value.

The land for the hydro was secured from the landowner and developer, Sanctuary Group, by the community for the generation of renewable energy.

By short-cutting this bend in the river, the hydro makes use of the gradually sloping river bed that falls over a depth of about 2.5m and covers a distance of 200m. The hydro scheme will be fed by a new lade and make full extent of the natural fall by cutting across the bend.

A feasibility study indicated that the site has the potential to generate about 400kW of power but under the current government energy subsidy regime (Feed-in-Tariff ) a scale of 100kW is the most economically feasible.

The area 


Donside Village has an enviable location on the banks of the River Don approximately 4km from the city centre of Aberdeen. It is on the site of the former Donside Papermill in the wider Tillydrone community. The papermill occupied the site until its closure in 2001 and demolition in 2006.

The site has been, and continues to be re-developed into a sustainable mixed community one of the UK’s largest Registered Social Landlords; Sanctuary Housing.

Inside the original boundary of the former papermill, new modern energy efficient flats and houses have been built, with a mix of social housing, part buy and owner occupied properties. The properties overlook the river which will be designed and landscaped by the community as an amenity for people and wildlife from the local community and beyond.

This community is known as Donside. It is represented by the Donside Community Association, made up of the residents and friends of Donside Village.