A hydroelectric scheme in Settle, Yorkshire, which launched in 2009 has recorded its best monthly output this spring – generating 13,747kWhrs during March.
The river where the project is located was at its highest since records began in the 1950’s, flooding the sports field on the opposite side of the river on March 9th. The management team of volunteers were delighted that the hydro project coped with this level of water, where previously it would have stopped. A board member suggested this means a new variable speed system installed in 2017 has already proved itself.
Built at Bridge End Mill on the River Ribble, the projects feeds an Archimedes Screw turbine which drives a generator feeding electricity to residential apartments. Any surplus is fed into the National Grid, providing income for local community organisations and potentially shareholders.
In early September last year an emergency repair to the weir crest was carried out with support from Timber works Ltd of Settle, which improved performance during the winter. The next project planned by the team is to instigate a fully engineered reinstatement of all the weir crest boards. This work, planned for the coming summer months, will improve the efficiency of the combined installation of hydropower and fish pass.
Carrying out this improvement work is a high priority as soon as funds are available and the Settle Hydro team are embarking on a new funding drive to raise £120,000, inviting environmentally savvy shareholders from across the country to be part of this pioneering historic scheme.