A consortium of UK water mill owners has launched the first in a series of micro hydro projects following collaboration with the local council, the Environment Agency and funding from the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
Gants Mill, a 12kW project located near Bruton, Somerset, is the first of ten schemes to begin generating electricity. It is to be followed by the commissioning of the other nine water mills, which is expected to be complete by this summer.
The mill owners teamed up three years ago to form the South Somerset Hydropower Group, and since then have secured funding equivalent to around US$170,000 from the EST’s Innovation programme and some US$80,000 from SWEB Energy’s Green Tariff fund. Owners met the rest of the costs of their projects, thought to have been about 60% of the total.
Hydro Generation Ltd carried out installation and provided consultancy services for abstraction licence applications, system design and project management.