Micro hydro for Sowerby Bridge? Update

Calderdale Community Energy is working with people in Sowerby Bridge to develop a potential micro hydro scheme.

Update 26th November 2012

Following the various comments on this story (see comments box, below), I asked Emma Appleton, the Carbon Partnership Officer for Calderdale MBC, if she could clarify the situation further. Emma recently emailed that,

“Calderdale Council has not set up a social enterprise to work on community energy and has not entered a partnership with ATC [Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre].   I work closely with the ATC in my role as Carbon Partnership Officer for CMBC to explore the best way to help Calderdale communities and businesses reduce their impact on the environment. The idea to set up a social enterprise to facilitate community owned renewable energy has been discussed as a potential conduit to further this agenda. However nothing has been set up and no plans have been made at this stage.”

Emma also apologised for any confusion arising from her earlier email statement to Cllr WIlkinson, where she had written,

“We have recently received joint funding for CMBC and the ATC to set up a social enterprise which will progress these hydro sites for community ownership. We are currently working through the legal paper work on this project.”

(The micro-hydro sites in question are Cromwell Bottom and one in partnership with Genr8 at Copley.)

Emma clarified that in fact,

“The funding was awarded to ATC solely.”

In answer to the question of who provided the funding, Emma said,

“The feasibility study funding was awarded by DECC.[Department of Energy & Climate Change] It was a grant.”

I am still a bit confused – this must be funding for the feasibility study for community micro-hydro projects at the two Sowerby Bridge sites? So was the funding for the ATC to set up a social enterprise included in the DECC feasibility study funding?

Further points that Emma clarified:

  • Calderdale MBC currently has no plans to complete an asset transfer of the Cromwell Bottom site
  • the idea for a social enterprise that will progress the two micro-hydro sites for community ownership “is yet to be developed” 
  • no public consultation has so far taken place about setting up the social enterprise
  • there is no legal or financial basis between Genr8 and CMBC in regards to a hydro scheme


4 thoughts on “Micro hydro for Sowerby Bridge? Update

  1. I would be keen to know exactly what was transferred regarding Cromwell Bottom , what the consultation was with stakeholder groups and exactly how the scheme will benefit the environement

    • For answers to your questions, I think you probably need to ask Calderdale Community Energy. Contact details for Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre, which is part of CCE, are on the Calderdale Community Energy webpage (link in the article, above).

      Or maybe ask your Calderdale Councillor. They should be able to find out, since CCE is a partnership between Calderdale Council and the Alternative Technology Centre.

      If you find out, please let us know.

    • I asked Councillor Dave Young, he said best to contact Cllr Dave Draycott & Cllr Adam Wilkinson who are the 2 Labour Councillors on Calderdale Council for Sowerby Bridge

      • Hi all. Please see below a reply I received from Council Officers after making an enquiry in June. Happy to discuss further should you wish to or make further enquiries on your behalf.

        Cllr Wilkinson

        Dear Cllr Adam Wilkinson,

        Thank you for your enquiry about hydro electric power.

        Hydro power could be a valuable resource of power in Calderdale. It has been included as part of the Low Carbon Plan which I have attached to this email. For the cost it will not produce as much power as other technologies especially wind, however there are other benefits which make Hydro electric schemes favourable such as historical significance locally and their popularity visually.

        The Environmental Management Team is investigating two sites locally, one at Cromwell Bottom and one in partnership with Genr8 at Copley. We have carried out full feasibility studies on both these sites. I have attached the feasibility study for Cromwell Bottom. We work closely with Power from the Landscape, based at ATC in Hebden Bridge, who have carried out many pre feasibility studies across Calderdale and the South Pennines.

        We have recently received joint funding for CMBC and the ATC to set up a social enterprise which will progress these hydro sites for community ownership. We are currently working through the legal paper work on this project.

        If you would like a any more information I would be happy to meet up with you or I would suggest speaking to Peter Hill from Power from the Landscape on 01422 842121.

        Thank you for your interest.


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