Sporting pay off from green energy project on the Ouse

A new fish-friendly hydro power scheme in North Yorkshire will include a custom-designed slalom canoe course that is expected to attract leading exponents of the sport.

Cody Brown of the Lower Wharfe Canoe Club's 'Stream Team' at Linton Lock. Pics: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media.

The £2.5m Linton Lock scheme at Linton-on-Ouse, between York and Harrogate, is being built by new company Linton Hydro and promoted by bank Triodos.

The project has been pre-accredited by Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, and when completed early next year it is forecast to provide 1.87 gigawatt-hours of electricity - enough to power 450 homes.

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The infrastructure of the scheme is set to feature an Archimedes screw with the largest diameter in the world.

An artist's impression of the planned scheme at Linton Lock Hydro Scheme on the River Ouse.

Some of the electricity it generates will be sold at a “mutually beneficial rate” to family-run, free-range chicken farm Widdington Grange, according to Linton Hydro, with any surplus being sold to the National Grid.

A £200,000 portion of the funds will fund half the cost of building the canoe course. The rest of the money is being provided by Sport England through Canoe England, the sport’s umbrella organisation.

The ‘Stream Team’, all young members of the Lower Wharfe Canoe Club based at Tadcaster which competes regularly at a national level, has committed to using Linton as a training base.

Dave Mann, director of Linton Hydro, said: “We’re thrilled that our new scheme will not only provide clean energy for Widdington Grange Farm, but potentially turn out canoeing stars of the future.”

An artist's impression of the planned scheme at Linton Lock Hydro Scheme on the River Ouse.

The company is promising environmental benefits too, for the River Ouse.

A dilapidated fish pass at the lock will be refurbished and three new passes installed alongside the new turbine to improve the migration of salmon, sea trout, brown trout, lamprey and eels.