Water Power Enterprises (h2oPE) secured £200,000 of pre-development capital over the last few months
Chris Davies MEP is launching Saddleworth Community Hydro’s share offer on Thursday 15 December at the Civic Hall at 7pm.
The hydro will use the compensation water from the Dove Stone reservoir to power a turbine which will generate enough green electricity for around 45 homes. It will be run as an Industrial and Provident Society for the benefit of the community.
“We need to raise £120K from the share offer to ensure a start on site as early as possible next year,” explains one of the hydro’s Directors, Bill Edwards.
“There’s been a lot of interest in creating renewable energy in the Saddleworth area, so the launch will give us the chance to explain what we’re proposing in more detail and kick start our fundraising drive. What could be better than to own a little bit of a community hydro that will generate green electricity for the next 40 years or more?”
Shares in the hydro cost £1, with a minimum shareholding of £250 and a maximum of £20,000. A prospectus can be downloaded at www.h2ope.co.uk after the share offer launch on 15 December.
The idea of using the compensation water from the reservoir to set up a community-owned hydro first came from Tony Bywater, a member of the Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association, back in 2008. Landowners United Utilities are firmly behind the scheme to generate power from the reservoir, using the height of its 60ft dam.
h2ope (Water Power Enterprises), who will manage the share issue on behalf of Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd, have recently helped to secure grant-funding of £223k from Defra’s Rural Carbon Challenge Fund, which has brought this germ of an idea one step closer to reality.
“The beauty of the scheme is that it harnesses the power of the water already flowing from a great height. There’s no environmental impact, visually the reservoir will remain the same, but we’ll be generating clean, green electricity for the foreseeable future and any surplus monies will fund local environmental projects.” says Steve Welsh, Development Manager for h2ope.
The share offer will be launched at Saddleworth Civic Hall, Lee St, Uppermill at 7pm on Thursday 15 December. All are welcome. If you’d like further information you can contact Bill Edwards on 01457 871 598 or Tony Bywater on 01457 875 423.
We’re working closely with Saddleworth Community Hydro, the Industrial Provident Society which have an in principle agreement to proceed with the landowner.