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For the first time in decades, electricity is now being produced by harnessing the power of the River Wye in Ashford in the Water.

After over two years working to instate hydro power at Ashford Old Mill, the owner Bob Griffiths had his hundred year old turbine reinstalled in the summer, and has just been connected to the National Grid.

“It’s so exciting,” said Bob Griffiths, “I am absolutely delighted with it. The turbine runs perfectly and is almost silent. And the result is 15 Kw of green power for 32 homes, and it will save 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere every year. It was hard work, but worth it in the end!”

We’ve been closely involved in supporting this project, and think it is just brilliant! Not only is green power being produced for local people, but a listed mill has now been beautifully refurbished and connected to its original use. We’re also pleased that the turbine was restored by engineers near Ashbourne and that local consultants, Derwent Hydro Power, oversaw the re-instatement and grid connection.

Ashford Old Mill featured as a case study site in our 2010 Peak Power report about the feasibility of small scale hydro power in the Peak District. Our research suggested that another 1800 kW of micro hydro power is still possible in the Peak District. Ashford Old Mill getting going is excellent, but it’s still a long, uphill road!

To help support this expansion, we helped form the Peak Hydro Forum – a group aiming to raise the profile of micro hydro and share experiences. It meets regularly throughout the year including visiting hydro sites of interest. The Peak Hydro Forum will be visiting Ashford Old Mill on Saturday 29 October. Please get in touch with Andy Tickle to find out more.