Lake District set for renewable energy development

A new £1.5m green energy scheme run by Ellergreen Hydro will turn a Cumbrian stream into a mini power station, making it the biggest hydro-electric project in the Lake District.

The renewable energy scheme will provide electricity for homes from a small weir on a mountain stream. It involves a 60cm buried pipe running 1km downhill, and a small stone-and-slate barn housing the water turbine and other generating equipment.

Located at Logan Gill, a tributary of the River Duddon, near Broughton in Furness, the hydro-electric project is expected to provide enough energy to cater annually for 1,000 people, roughly equivalent to 400 households, and will reportedly save 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

It is said to be one of the first renewable energy schemes in the UK to benefit from the government’s new ‘Clean Energy Cashback’ initiative, a plan that allows energy suppliers to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low-carbon sources.

The development has been undertaken by Ellergreen Hydro, a start-up business founded by Mark Cropper and Charles Crewdson, chairman of renewable energy manufacturer Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon.

The project was financed by the Co-operative Bank, which ring-fenced £400m in 2007 to fund the development of renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.

The potential opportunities in small-scale hydro schemes are now being realised across the UK. Click here to read more.