We have the power
In June the Netherbeck hydro in Wasdale was submitted with OFGEM for final accreditation and commencement of feeding into the grid.
The energy generation and maintenance are ongoing but as you can see, the intake is stunning and at the bottom, the power house is blended so beautifully with the landscape, it is difficult to see.
Three schemes in the West
The other two hydro schemes are due for completion in early 2020. Whilan Beck in Eskdale and Crosby Gill in Duddon also have their intake panels and water diversion complete with piping laid and foundations for the power houses in place. All part of the National Trusts bigger plan to reduce use of fossil fuels by 50% by 2021.
Conservation and nature are at the heart of everything we do. The intake removes water flowing through the beck – but it is “consented flow”. This is calculated by the Environment Agency following a years’ worth of beck monitoring. It ensures that more than enough water remains in the river, before some is diverted, and doesn’t negatively impact on downstream habitats. During dry weather, there will be less water but the river is the priority and in turn the hydro will slow and generate less electricity.
"New" energy sources
Hydro energy is a modern-day interpretation of what people have been doing for thousands of years. By the 16th Century waterpower was the most important source of motive power in Britain and the number of watermills peaked at more than 20,000 mills by the 19th Century.