The Board started with 3 Founder members who were also Lochaber Environmental Group Directors - Marian Austin, Susan Carstairs and Christine Rolin. As the project has grown further members have joined the board, each bringing their own skills to the project.
The LEG Board came together quickly to take forward the opportunity of acquiring and developing this Hydro Scheme and have moved forward progressively as a team, with each member bringing their enthusiasm and passion for environmental projects, and a range of strengths and skills relevant to a community owned enterprise. These include experience with renewable energy schemes and other environmental projects, community engagement and development, and sustainable development.
In addition to the skills brought by Board members, LEG Power has engaged professional support to assist with the technical, legal and financial aspects of the project.
Craig Burton BSc, MSc, CBiol, MRSB, MemMBA (Chair)
Craig is a professional marine biologist. His principal field of interest is sustainable aquaculture and fisheries. Early career experience in finance in a manufacturing industry was valuable when assisting companies with their future development plans or managing research projects. He has advised Governments and the EU on various topics and served as a Director on the Board of the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum.
Recognising the importance of maximising energy efficiency when planning any project and the potential that renewable technologies can offer led to Craig to explore the practicalities by making improvements to his home by fitting photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. In addition, living on the west coast of Scotland, he is very aware of the many hydro-electric generation schemes of varying ages and sizes around the country and the benefits that the newer, smaller scale developments can bring to their local communities. This prompted his involvement in the LEG Power Lochaber Limited project when the opportunity arose.
After graduating from Edinburgh University with an Honours degree in History, Marian spent most of her working life in the ski industry – instructing in various locations around the world and then settling at Nevis Range Mountain Experience during the construction in 1989 and working up to becoming its Managing Director in 2000. As well as the multiple challenges of running a weather controlled visitor attraction and snow ski area, she drove forward an environmental agenda including gaining a Green Tourism Gold Award, implementing a carbon reduction plan, reducing waste and installing a wood chip boiler. She left Nevis Range in 2015 to set up a very small horticultural business with her husband on a newly acquired croft in Banavie producing vegetables, soft fruit, cakes and jam. She project managed the construction of a 1.1MW hydro scheme and after several years on the LEG board as secretary became chair in 2017.
Susan worked in the first phase of her life with refugees from Chile before returning to Scotland to live in Lochaber. After a few years at Arisaig Hotel she worked as the project manager at Lochaber Environmental Group from 1999 to 2005 and then at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) working on waste strategy until 2011 when she went to Edinburgh University to study an MSc in Environmental Sustainability. In her own words: “Environmental issues are urgent and we in Lochaber are fortunate in having many ways in which we can bring our resource use closer to one planet living”. Susan is also a is a Director of Lochaber Environmental Group.
Christine is a scientist working on the development of seaweed cultivation in the UK. She previously worked for Lochaber Environmental Group to develop and deliver activities within Lochaber to help people and businesses become more energy efficient, reduce waste and use sustainable transport. Christine is trained as an ecologist and has worked on projects from river restoration to seaweed farming including research on seaweed-based biofuels as a form of renewable energy. Christine has a passion for sustainable development, entrepreneurship and community engagement. Christine is originally from Denmark and has lived in Scotland for over 10 years, settling on the West Coast as she is a keen hillwalker, climber, kayaker and cyclist. Christine is a Director of Lochaber Environmental Group.
Jamie has worked in adventure tourism and outdoor education for the best part of fifteen years. Working in fragile mountain environments including the Alps and Canadian Rockies gave him first-hand experience of the impacts of climate change and ignited a passion for sustainability and environmental protection. Jamie is now based in Fort William where he continues to work as a freelance outdoors instructor, whilst studying for an honours degree in Geography at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Jim has been active in the Co-operative Movement for a number of years. Jim is Energy4All’s Development Manager in Scotland and his role is to develop opportunities for Energy4All in Scotland, helping them to extend the scope of community-owned renewable energy. Jim is currently on the boards of Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative and several other community energy co-ops. He previously worked for the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and is currently the Chair of the Lanarkshire Credit Union.
Hugh has a background in Investment Management having worked for Brewin Dolphin & Co following graduation from Durham University in 1994. A keenness to set up his own business in the fledgling market for renewable energy led to the formation of Glendevon Energy in 2005. Initially the business focused on supplying the built environment with solar panels, then heat pumps and biomass boilers. The business has installed a number of high-profile projects and services have evolved into offering first class maintenance services to keep systems in excellent working order.
Glendevon Energy has also engaged in hydro development work through taking the Rumbling Bridge Hydro (500kW Run of River) and Loch a Bhraoin (2MW with storage) from initial concept through to operation with an interest in both. Rumbling Bridge established a need for automated weir cleaning systems which Glendevon now offers to the sector in conjunction with Canadian partners.