After almost four years of detailed work, a group of volunteers in Congleton has excitedly unveiled plans for a new community-funded hydro-electricity scheme.
Dane Valley Community Energy aims to raise almost three quarters of a million pounds in funding to help construct a new hydro-electricity generator at Havannah Weir
The system will consist of a 2.5m diameter, 8m long Archimedes screw which will drive a 75kW generator, creating enough power for around 60 homes.
Congleton mayor, Cllr Sally-Ann Holland said: “As the town mayor of Congleton I am delighted to see this long-awaited project starting to become a reality
“Not only will it redirect renewable energy back into the community, but it will be an educational tool for future generations to see how we can harness what is already available to us and transform it into clean energy.”
The new hydro-electric scheme is being built on the River Dane at a site with a long history of using water power for productive purposes.
Havannah Weir is Grade II listed structure and has been in use since the early 1800s.
It’s been largely abandoned since the 1960s, and so the Congleton Hydro scheme will see the inexhaustible power of the River Dane once again put to use in service of local residents.
As one of the first community-based generation schemes in the region, the project will provide an ideal opportunity for the involvement of local companies to prove their environmental credentials.
The Congleton Hydro scheme will facilitate a reduction in CO2 emissions attributed to the town, and is projected to have an operating surplus of around £5,000 per year.
The group behind the initiative says funds generated from the project will be used to support community projects and local schools.
David McGifford, chief officer at Congleton Town Council, commented: “Congleton Town Council has fully supported this renewable energy project since its inception.
“We’re delighted to see it now coming to fruition – it gives the community its first opportunity to invest in a local energy project created by volunteers.”
Anyone interested in the project is being invited to request the group’s Share Offer Document.
The share offering is being organised by Share En-ergy, which is the UK’s leading social enterprise for establishing community-owned renewable energy schemes.
The share offer will close when fully subscribed, or on 31st March 2020.
For more information, please click here.