Solar power helps to keep Saddleworth history alive

SOLAR panels have been fired up once more to help keep history alive at Saddleworth Museum thanks to a boost from the Saddleworth Hydro Sustainability Fund.

The turbine house at Dovestone

The Museum, which re-opened last September after a £1million refurbishment, has been using the photo-voltaic panels as part of their green policy commitment for over ten years.

The panels generate electricity for the building and contribute to income, so supporting the Museum, which is run as a registered charity.

The panels were refitted as part of the Museum’s refurbishment but stopped working earlier this year – but are now back in action thanks to the Hydro Sustainability Fund.

Peter Fox, Museum curator, commented: “It was with great frustration that just over six months after completing our refurbishment a major component of the PV panels failed.

“We approached the Saddleworth Hydro Sustainability Fund and we have to give a big thank you to them for supporting us with a grant of £500.

“This has meant the PV installation has been repaired and we are once again generating electricity.”

Visitors can see how much electricity is being generated – even on the dullest days – via an LED screen inside the Museum.

Saddleworth Community Hydro group designed and launched an innovative turbine at Dovestone Reservoir – the first high head system in England to use an existing dam.

After generating renewable electricity for two years, they launched the Sustainability Fund in April to help local groups with their projects.

In the first round of funding, £500 was awarded to Saddleworth Museum, and another £100 to Mossley Heritage Centre to provide low-energy lamps for the Centre.

The Centre, at Longlands Mills, Queen Street, has 28 spotlights that have been running on 40 Watt lamps but they have now all been fitted with 6 Watt energy-saving lamps.

This small project not only helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it also reduces the unnecessary consumption of electricity.

Now, the fund is open for the next round of proposals, with a maximum size grant of £1,000.

The Saddleworth Community Hydro group said: “This is a modest modest as this is a small community initiative and still in the pilot phase, but a very useful sum to a community organisation, a school or maybe a church.

“We would particularly welcome applications that will enable young people to participate in activities concerning renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions and climate change.”

The Fund is open to organisations based in Saddleworth and neighbouring areas and deadline for applications is Friday, December 22, with grants being given by February 2018.

The application form and guidance notes are available online: www.saddleworthhydro.co.uk

 

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