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Cumbrian stream at heart of new hydro-electric project

A small weir on a tributary of the River Duddon has been turned into Lake District’s biggest hydro-electric project.

The £1.5 million green energy scheme located at Logan Gill is one of the first renewable energy schemes in the UK to benefit from the governments new ‘Clean Energy Cashback’ initiative, a scheme that allows energy suppliers to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources.

In this case the development has been undertaken by Ellergreen Hydro, a start-up business founded by Mark Cropper and Charles Crewdson, chairman of renewable energy manufacturer Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon, also located in the county.

Speaking about the merits of the Logan Gill hydro-electric project Mr. Cropper remarks: “Logan Gill is not only a 100 percent UK plc project but also a showcase of the superb know-how and technology that exists in this area of the country. The project was conceived and designed locally by specialist hydro consultants Inter Hydro, built by local contractors, and at its heart we have installed a hydro-electric turbine made by Gilkes of Kendal, who have been global hydro industry leaders for over 150 years.”

The power generated at Logan Gill has been purchased by renewable energy supplier Good Energy. “It is a fantastic example of home-grown energy,” says Juliet Davenport, Founder and Chief Executive of Good Energy. “Small-scale renewable generators like Logan Gill are helping change the energy landscape in the UK as we shift from brown to green and from big centralised power stations to thousands of small distributed renewable generators. It is steps like these that are improving the UK’s energy security and making a difference to climate change.”

Logan Gill has been financed by The Co-operative Bank, which has dedicated expertise in supporting small to medium scale renewable energy projects. In 2007, it ring-fenced £400m specifically to fund the development of renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.

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Wave and tidal energy