Hydro Guide

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From the earliest times, water power has provided a pivotal role in the development of the South Pennines; from the early corn and fulling mills to the growth of the early Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

In the early 1800s water was powering upwards of 100 mills in the upper Calder Valley alone. From the 1840s onwards, it was used to complement steam power and was still being used in some mills well into the 20th century.

Old Waterwheel

The evidence is permanently disappearing as the mills shut down, the mill ponds and goits dry up and the landscape changes back to its natural state. At present there are still small fragmented, tantalising clues to this not so distant past in the landscape itself.

Our energy needs now are far greater than in the past and water levels have dropped significantly, but new technology can be used to harness the power that once turned the waterwheels.

Power from the Landscape aims to make water power a common feature of the landscape once again It has the potential to provide a useful contribution to the power mix of the area, and it is a clean, readily available, environmentally friendly resource, with great heritage and community value.

Whilst the earlier mills used water wheels to directly drive the machinery in the mill, today we would generally use water driven turbines to produce electricity.

For more information on the old water powered mills see Power in the Landscape.

 

Next: Introduction to modern hydro power

Also: 

  FEASIBILITY STUDIES

  MEASURING POTENTIAL

  EQUIPMENT

  PERMISSIONS

  THE FINANCIAL BIT

  LEGAL STRUCTURES

  OTHER DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS

  CASE STUDIES

 

 

Power From the Landscape

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