Dovestones HEP Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd generates enough sustainable electricity at Dove Stone Reservoir, Greenfield, to power about 75 homes via the national grid, with an annual saving of 170 tonnes of CO2 .
The dam height of 35m allows the use of a cross flow turbine driven by the continuous supply of compensation water flowing from the reservoir into Chew Brook to generate up to 51 kW for the next forty years or so.
This is the first high head system in England to use an existing dam.
The development stage took several years, construction about 9 months and regular generation started in September 2014.
The hydro turbine is owned and run by Saddleworth Community Hydro Limited,
a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, which is made up from local and national members with a passion for the environment.
Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd was awarded a grant of £223,000 from Defra under the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund and part financed by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. £229,000 was raised in shares. Shareholders include individuals, both local and from further afield, voluntary organisations, businesses, and Oldham Council. Approximately 2/3 of shareholders are from the local area.
We expect to provide upwards of £12k annually for education and local environmentally friendly projects as well as providing a modest return to shareholders.
However, it has several other valuable outcomes:
It demonstrates that a group of local people can actually do something to slow down climate change! We are NOT powerless or helpless!
We now know how to set up such a project and are happy to share what we have learned and so enable others to replicate our success.
We will be generating reliable zero carbon electricity in a quiet, non-intrusive way for many years.
Saddleworth Parish Council was an important contributor throughout the development and construction phases providing support in the planning process, meeting facilities, and a continuing postal address.
Further information from;