Hydro-electricity community share offer

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Posted Aug 28 2012 by Mark Wells of Sheffield Renewables

Hydro power is an attractive source of local renewable energy for Sheffield, which builds on the long history of water power in the city. This artist’s impression shows the fish friendly Archimedes screw turbine we will install at the site. The scheme will also include fish and eel passes to improve fish passage on the river.

Sheffield Renewables have just announced the launch of their Community Share Offer. They need to raise £250,000 towards the cost of building their first hydro-electric scheme at Jordan Dam on the river Don near Blackburn Meadows. Jordan Dam Hydro will generate 310,000 kWh/yr, enough for 80 homes and will save Sheffield 170 tonnes of CO2 per year. The scheme will be Sheffield’s first community owned renewable energy scheme. Profits will be used to fund local green initiatives, including more renewable energy.

‘Community Shares are a way for local people to invest in schemes that might not otherwise go ahead, and to be involved in changing our city to a greener way of living. Individuals, organisations or companies can invest any amount from £250 to £20,000. Those on a low income can also invest in instalments,’ said Dr Mark Wells, Finance Director.

Community Shares cannot be traded, but we plan to pay a modest rate of interest and allow investors to ‘cash in’ their shares after 3 years.

‘With most of the work being carried out by volunteers, it has been a long journey to prepare the scheme. However, we were determined that before we asked the community for finance we would have in place most of the technical and legal work to allow the construction to go ahead as quickly as possible. We have planning permission for the scheme and the required Abstraction Licence from the Environment Agency. We are now able to offer people firm information on the success of the project and a clear plan for its delivery,’ said Dr Richard Collins, Technical Director.

The Share Offer Launch will take place on Saturday, September 15th at 3pm at the Central United Reform Church in Sheffield. If you want to attend, please email: [email protected] More details will appear on the Sheffield Renewables’ website soon: www.sheffieldrenewables.org.uk. If you are considering investing, you can make a ‘pledge’ on the website. The Community Share Offer will run from September 15th until December 14th.