Sites identified for hydro-electric schemes on Yorkshire river

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RESIDENTS in Pennine communities north of Sheffield hope to progress plans for hydro-electricity projects on the River Don after a survey of sites found that several were suitable for the sustainable power generation schemes.

Villages around Penistone are already in the shadow of several wind farms, some of which have caused controversy over their effect on the countryside on the edge of Peak District National Park.

Friends of the Earth have now become involved in the hydro-electricity scheme and a series of meetings are to be held in the area to see how different sites can be progressed.

Coun Barry Tylee of Hunshelf Parish Council who has led the council’s hydro campaign said two weirs on the Don in the Hunshelf parish had been identified as being suitable for hydro-electric schemes and several have been identified on the river around Penistone.

He said the cost would be about £250,000 for each weir project.

Coun Tylee added: “We want to encourage the development of hydro electric projects on the River Don as an alternative source of energy.

“They have been successful in other areas but one problem with the two sites in Hunshelf parish is that the land next to the weirs is privately owned and we would need to get permission from the land owners to progress the projects.”

Last month, Sheffield Renewables won planning permission for a hydro-power scheme on the River Don at Jordan Dam, close to the Meadowhall shopping centre. Sheffield Renewables is also behind another hydro-electricity scheme in Sheffield, which would involve putting in a water wheel on the River Don at Kelham Island. That project is a collaboration with Sheffield Council and Kelham Island Museum.