"I always enjoy visiting assets that our client funds invest in as I find it incredibly interesting to see the underlying bricks and mortar of a project in real life. Additionally, visiting assets grants further context to our role as Fund Administrator and Regulated Operator.
Over the years it has been a delight to undertake many site visits, including Peterborough prison as part of Social Impact LP, the UK's first Impact Bond, various high rise buildings where you’ll find me decked out in a hard hat and safety boots and many investee companies across all sectors, however those in the hospitality sector are always an extra treat to visit and enjoy a sample or two!
Last month I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in the Scottish sunshine visiting two of the projects in our hydro-electric fund near Inveraray on the West Coast of Scotland. NCM act as Fund Manager and Administrator to this fund and also were involved in its creation, so I was thrilled that at long last, I was able to make it and see some of the sites.
After one of Scotland’s driest summers, I was lucky to see the hydro power projects in action as the rain has since made up for the drier months earlier in the summer. Fraser from Gilkes Energy took time to show me around the intakes and pump house and explain how the schemes work, including issues that arose in development and how they produce the energy that is then passed to the grid. The technology behind hydro electricity generation has been around for generations and unlike wind and solar, is largely unobtrusive and underground. Modern innovations allow complete remote control and monitoring of all the pump houses so very little human intervention is required.
All in all, I had a very interesting morning and next time we have a Scottish deluge I will remind myself that it’s good for the hydro!"
- Kathleen McLeay