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Mini Hydro Project Turns Alport Green

Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009

Image of the corn mill at Alport, Derbyshire, site of a new hydroelectric scheme.

The mini hydro-electric installation at Alport Mill has now been completed and this summer should begin providing up to 35 homes in Alport with ‘clean’ renewable energy.

The project has been undertaken by owners Haddon Estate and sees the former water-powered corn-grinding mill returned to working action after lying idle for many years.

The modern generating plant actually sits alongside the old mill, a Grade I listed building. Almost all of the new construction will be underground and out of site – in fact, the turbine house will be disguised by an outer ‘green’ roof of sown wild flowers. The mill pond has now been re-flooded and the flow of the River Lathkill has not been affected – it will continue to flow over the weir throughout the year. In addition, the development will have no detrimental effect on the fish or other wildlife, such as water voles and crayfish.

Haddon’s successful planning application was enthusiastically supported by Sustainable Youlgrave, who backed the Estate’s vision and commitment to developing a form of renewable energy highly appropriate to the historic, rural setting and National Park designated landscape.

Annual output from the mini hydro scheme is expected to exceed 140,000 kWh per year, which constitutes around 70% of the electrical consumption of Alport. It is estimated that this will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 100 tonnes every year.

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