Stockport Hydro, a renewable energy scheme at Otterspool Weir on the river Goyt near Marple, Stockport, is Greater Manchester’s first community-owned hydro-electric project. Our two Archimedes screws, Thunder and Lightning, have been operational since October 2012, generating renewable electricity which is fed into the National Grid. We are accredited to earn the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff and the Environment Agency has approved our operation to ensure no damage to the river’s eco-system and wildlife.
Our income comes from the sale of electricity and the FiTs payment we receive for each unit of electricity we generate. This income is used to offset the costs of the scheme, pay back our creditors and generate a return for our investors. In addition to contributing to a reduced carbon footprint, we are using surplus funds generated by the scheme to support and invest in a range of local community projects. The whole Project was funded primarily by a Community Share Offer, with a supporting grants and loans. Over one third of our 323 Members live in the local Stockport area with others all over the country. We work as a cooperative and all share a common interest in community-based schemes generating renewable energy.
With two Archimedes screws which can operate independently and at variable speeds, we have been able to generate power even at times of low water levels: a first, we believe, for schemes such as this. We generate enough clean, green energy to power about 60 homes, saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 per year or over 4,000 tonnes during the estimated 40 year life of the project. Update from Stockport Hydro Chairman Ben Alexander – “We are delighted to say that in November 2017 we achieved the ONE-GIGA, that is 1 billion watt hours of electricity produced, all thanks to our brilliant team of volunteers”.