Renewables First has been commissioned to design and install a community hydro scheme on a United Utilities owned reservoir. The scheme will be the first community owned scheme of its kind in England.
Dove Stone Reservoir is one of four United Utilities reservoirs. These collect run-off from the surrounding moorland to supply water to the urban areas of Greater Manchester.
The community hydro scheme will be owned by Saddleworth Community Hydro. Given its small scale, it will not have a detrimental effect on the locality or surrounding landscape.
The community hydro scheme will involve modifying existing reservoir infrastructure. The scheme will be incorporated into the stilling basin at the toe of the reservoir embankment. This is currently used to dissipate energy from the ‘compensation flow’ water flowing out of the reservoir, before entering Chew Brook.
A connection into the existing pipework within the dam will be made. From this a new diversion pipe will be laid underground and will redirect the compensation flow from the existing reservoir pipe work inside the pump house, via a Crossflow hydro turbine and generator. These will be enclosed in a small turbine house located next to the stilling basin. Spent water will then be returned to the stilling basin and natural watercourse.
The electricity will then be exported to the electricity grid via a new 11 kV transformer. It was initially hoped that a connection could be made directly into the reservoir pump house, in order that United Utilities could purchase and use the energy directly. However, it was later found (in Nov 2013) that the existing service units could not accommodate an additional connection.
The scheme will make use of a 35 metre “head” (water drop), with a nominal flow rate of 0.190 cubic metres of water per second. The Crossflow hydro turbine will have a peak power output of 55 kW and will produce 328 MWh’s of electricity a year. This is equivalent to powering 75 UK homes and saving 165 tonnes CO2 per year.
Renewables First will deliver all stages of this project. It will provide a turnkey package to specify and design the system, secure the appropriate consents and project manage the entire installation and commissioning of the community hydro project.
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