The Town has been successful with a bid for £250k of European Funding through the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund to build the hydro scheme on The Old Weir on the River Dane.
This is a real win/win situation.
- The Hydro scheme will deliver low carbon electricity. A win for the environment
- The profits from selling the electricity (Aldi have already expressed interest) will be used for energy saving initiatives (such as home insulation) to further reduce electricity demand and again lower the town’s carbon footprint. Another environmental win.
River Dane a very fast running river. An ideal place for a hydro scheme is a weir – and we have lots around Congleton because of our industrial heritage.
Four years ago the Dane Renewable Energy Project Group was formed, and they have assessed the Old Weir for suitability and found that the Weir offered a huge opportunity to demonstrate what could be achieved in terms of local renewable energy.
They have been campaigning to get funds and have targeted the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund. Six months and a very detailed 55 page report later they have secured a quarter of a million pounds of EU money to create electrical power from the flow of the river.
It is planned that it will be operational early in 2012. A Community Enterprise will be created so that the earnings from selling the electricity will fund energy efficiency projects around the Town.