Cumbria's first wholly community-owned hydro-electric power plant was officially opened yesterday by South Lakes MP Tim Farron.
The hydro-power scheme, based at Killington Reservoir, will provide green energy for 70 homes, and save 1600 tonnes of CO2 emissions over 20 years. It is the first wholly community-owned project of its kind in Cumbria.
The community raised just over £300,000 to make the project happen, and used local businesses such as Ellergreen Hydro Ltd, from Burneside, and civil engineering firm TK Robinsons from Hutton. It is estimated that 98% of the funds for the scheme were raised within Cumbria, and 88% of the funds were then spent within the county.
Tim unveiled a plaque to officially launch the project, at an event attended by the organisations and members of the public that had backed it.
Tim said: "I was delighted to officially open this hydro-power project yesterday. This scheme shows that it is not necessary to choose between supporting businesses or protecting the environment. This is a community-funded scheme built using local business expertise to provide green energy to our area. This Cumbrian project is a shining example of what determined local communities can do, and I hope it will inspire other similar projects. My heartfelt thanks and congratulations go to Community Energy Cumbria, and to all the other organisations and individuals whose hard work and commitment has made this project possible."
Above right: Tim with representatives from the organisations that backed the project, including Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Community Energy Cumbria, SLDC, the Canal and Rivers Trust and the local engineering firms.
Below: Local people who had backed the project at Killington Reservoir. The dam is visible behind them.
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