Landmark for community energy group

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RURAL communities in a Yorkshire’s national parks who banded together to create a hydro-electric plant and boost stocks of salmon and trout are set to push forward with the next phase of their pioneering project.

Members of a community energy group formed to install the turbine on the River Esk in the North York Moors National Park have announced enough funds have been raised for work to begin next spring.

The Esk Valley Community Energy Group issued shares to fund the small-scale turbine, known as an Archimedes screw, at Ruswarp, near Whitby. In just over three months, £125,000 has been raised from individual investors.

Colin Mather, a retired civil engineer and the group’s chairman, said: “Our scheme offers people a chance to do their bit to protect the environment while generating a new source of sustainable green energy. We are delighted with the response to the share issue.”

When completed next summer, the group hopes the turbine will generate about 200,000kWh of sustainable energy annually, eliminating more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over its lifetime. The project is backed by the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which supports new enterprises.