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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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£290,000 hydro power plan for Carlisle river

A pioneering £290,000 green energy scheme for the River Caldew in Denton Holme has been revealed.

The community-led project – to produce up to £80,000 of electricity each year from the weir at Holme Head – could pave the way for more groups to harness the power of the city’s rivers, it is hoped.

The proposals are led by the CA2 Green Group, which is part of the Denton Holme neighbourhood forum.

The group have so far been brightening up the area with tree and flower planting. But they have their sights set on bigger schemes for the future after visiting a similar hydro-project in Derbyshire.

CA2 member Damien Morris, who also works for Impact Housing, told the News & Star: “It’s very, very early days yet. But we have a brilliant river and could harness it to do some good for the local community.

“We come from all different walks of life, but we have energy efficiency at the heart of what we do.”

An initial feasibility study, costing £1,100 funded by the neighbourhood forum and Impact Housing, highlights two possible options for the weir.

They involve creating a tunnel under the east bank of the river to draw the water flow through a turbine.

The electricity produced could power up to 84 homes a year.

Cash raised by selling the power to the national grid would be ploughed back into the Denton Holme community, funding local projects and making community buildings more sustainable, according to Mr Morris.

There could also be the option of making local residents shareholders in the project.

“There’s nobody else doing this in Carlisle as far as I know,” he said. “We are getting on with it and doing things we think are important in out neighbourhood, using what’s on our doorstep.

“We could pioneer this and there will be lessons learned from our experiences which could make it easier for other groups to follow.”

The initial study will be presented at a public meeting tomorrow night in a bid to discuss the plans.

“We want to get an idea of what people think about it,” said Mr Morris.

The next step would be a further feasibility study costing £5,000.

The group will also approach organisations such as the Environment Agency to explore any effects the turbine could have on the river.

n The neighbourhood forum meeting will be held at Denton Holme Community Centre, Morley Street, at 7pm tomorrow.

SNewstead@cngroup.co.uk

Have your say

Charlie - "The salmon, otters and migrating birds can take a back seat whilst we do what is best for us." I could not tell if this comment was meant to be tongue in cheek, but it is the type of attitude that the worst type of person holds. It's the attitude that man can do what they want when they want to and who cares what impact it has; it's the type of attitude that would have the human race living in a grey concrete wilderness.

Posted by Graeme on 11 March 2010 at 12:06

We need all the environmentally friendly methods we can get
Go For It

Posted by Chris on 10 March 2010 at 19:53

View all 9 comments on this article

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