Stockport goes green: First community-owned hydroelectric project to open after public raise £250k

By Kirsty Plowman

Greater Manchester‘s first community-owned hydroelectric project is opening in Stockport this month.

Two Archimedes screws at Otterspool Weir will generate enough electricity to power about 60 homes and save over 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

The scheme has raised more than £250,000 and is primarily funded by the local people who have shares in the community share offer.

Louise Provan, a director of Stockport Hydro Ltd, said: “Over 250 people have shares already, most either work or live in the local area, or have a connection to the vicinity.

“They are making a contribution to the environment by helping a small local project reduce carbon emissions locally.”

The dual-screw variable scheme on the River Goyt is also the first in the UK and is designed by Water Power Enterprises (H2OPE) who introduce communities to hydroelectricity projects.

Stockport Hydro Ltd run the initiative as an Industrial Provident Society so it is owned by its members for the benefit of the community.

Guy Otten, 64, of Stockport invested in the hydro-electric scheme to become more sustainable.

He said: “It is the right thing to do but it has to be repeated across the country to be significant.”

A grant from the North West Development Agency, a bank loan and a key fund grant also supplement the fund.

The renewable power that is generated will feed into the national grid and profits will be distributed amongst local community projects.

A formal opening ceremony will take place later this year while another site at Stringer Weir is also being developed.

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