Innovative Saddleworth hydro recognised as community energy star

AN INNOVATIVE community hydro scheme at a Greenfield beauty spot has been presented with a top Community Energy Collaboration Award.

The Saddleworth Community Hydro at Dovestone Reservoir, which is the country’s first turbine at a high head dam, sparked into fruition last year.

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(L-R) Jonathan Hazeldine Head of M&S Energy, Alison Brittle, SCH, Richard Rider, Renewables First, Bill Edwards, Chair SCH, Peter Gill, ‎Rural and Operational Property Manager at United Utilities

Now it has received a glittering accolade from Community Energy England to regonise the ground-breaking venture between the small community group and United Utilities.

The winners were chosen from a high-quality shortlist of entrants from across the country by an independent panel of expert judges.

The award was presented by Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of Marks & Spencer Energy, at a glittering ceremony in Oxford.

Phillip Wolfe chairman of CEE, which organises the awards, said: “Community Energy England is pleased to be hosting these awards for the first time.

“We have been delighted by the abundance of good entries. All finalists are exemplars in their field and leading the UK’s community energy drive”

Bill Edwards, chairman of Saddleworth Community Hydro, commented: “We hope we can will inspire others to use existing infrastructure to expand the use of renewable energy from water power.”

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The public explores the turbine house on the Open Day (picture by Carl Royle)

The award follows another top honour for the Saddleworth Community Hydro group after they received the Community Award in the Institution of Civil Engineers North West Annual Awards in March.p9 turbine open day

The pioneering turbine uses 16 million litres of water released from the reservoir every day, with some diverted through the turbine house, to extract energy and generate electricity.

This is supplied to and distributed via the National Grid and generates hydroelectricity to produce enough zero carbon electricity for about 100 homes.

And members of the public got unique chance to see the turbine in operation during an Open Day last month as part of the nationwide Community Energy Fortnight 2015.

Find out more about the Saddleworth Community Hydro project on their website: www.saddleworthhydro.co.uk

Community Energy England was established in May 2014 to provide a voice for the community energy sector and help create the conditions in which community energy can flourish. Find out more: www.communityenergyengland.org

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