Shares in community-owned hydro power scheme on sale

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Plans for hydro-electric power station on the River Don which will be owned and run by the community could move a step forward at the weekend, as shares in the project go on sale.

Sheffield Renewables, has been set up as a co-operative society under Government rules and will issue shares from this Saturday in a bid to raise the £200,000 needed for the scheme.

The minimum investment is £250 with a maximum stake of £20,000, and Sheffield Renewables said it planned to pay up to three per cent interest to investors.

Plans for an archimedes screw which would be driven by the river at Jordan Dam in Sheffield have already been granted by Sheffield Council, andn proftis will be used to find further eco-initiatives.

Dr Mark Wells, a volunteer director of the co-operative, said: “Community shares are a way for local people to invest in schemes that might not otherwise go ahead, and to be involved in changing our city to a greener way of living. Individuals, organisations or companies can invest any amount from £250 to £20,000. Those on a low income can also invest in instalments,”

The Share Offer Launch will take place on Saturday, September 15 at 3pm at the Central United Reform Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield.

As well as learning more about Sheffield Renewable and the Share Offer scheme, people who attend will also hear from Simon Tilley who led on the development of a community owned wind turbine.

Mr Tilley’s project took place in the village of Hockerton, near Southwell in Nottinghamshire and was also funded by a community share offer.

He said the turbine started generating power in 2010 and in its first year had generated as much power as the village consumed.

Sheffield Renewables estimates that Jordan Dam will produce 310,000 kWh of electricity per year, enough to power 80 homes and save 170 tonnes of Co2 equivalent.

An archimedes screw arrangement was selected because they are more “fish friendly” than other hydro-electric turbines.

To find out more information about the launch or the scheme, visit www.sheffieldrenewables.org.uk or email emma@sheffieldrenewables.org.uk