Monday, 3 January 2011

Historic Site's Powerful Role

One of the first sites in Sheffield to use water power could soon be generating its own electricity.

Sheffield Renewables, the community enterprise that develops and operates renewable energy schemes wants to install a modern water wheel as part of a hydropower scheme at Kelham Island.

The organisation has teamed up with regeneration officers at Sheffield City Council, and Kelham Island Museum, part of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust to launch the initiative which could generate 75,000 kWh of electricity a year.

That would be enough to power 20 typical family homes and prevent around 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year being released into the atmosphere.

John Hamshere, chief executive of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust said: "We are very excited about this project because Kelham Island is one of the earliest water power sites in Sheffield.

"This scheme blends our commitment to sustainable energy with our responsibilities for preserving and promoting Sheffield's industrial heritage."

The wheel pit is one of the earliest industrial sites in Sheffield, where water power could have been harnessed as far back as the Middle Ages. The replacement wheel will be designed for a flow of two tonnes of water per second.

Sheffield Renewables says the water wheel will be an educational and visitor attraction in what is an increasingly popular area.

After submitting a planning application, the next steps will include further technical development, the submission of an application for an abstraction licence and a significant fundraising drive.

Sheffield Renewables says it welcomes comments and questions about the scheme, especially from anyone living nearby.

For information, visit

This is a great idea I've always though the sluices on the locks on the Chesterfield Canal could be used in the same manner, they may not provide lots of energy but should easily be enough for local street lighting! It's also great that people are realising there is plenty of free energy out there - all we need now is for people to put sails back on all those beautiful abandoned windmills scattered throughout the area too.  I know there's lots of debate about how much energy the big turbines provide but that's just bad design rather than a bad idea.  This would help to protect these buildings and canal and provide upkeep money for their restoration.  As British Waterways is now a charity again it'll be important to find as much money as possible to avoid the state of the canals going back to the 1950's closures

No comments:

Post a Comment