Watt an achievement! Celebrations as New Mills hydro scheme reaches milestone

Torrs Hydro directors toast the success of Archie.
Torrs Hydro directors toast the success of Archie.
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New Mills volunteers have celebrated their community hydro-project generating a total of one million kWh of electricity.

At around 6am on Wednesday last week, Torrs Hydro volunteers gathered with a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the historic generation total.

Richard Body MBE, Torrs Hydro Finance Director, hailed the “fantastic” total, adding: “We have reached this milestone thanks to some truly dedicated volunteers.”

The hydroelectric turbine, known as Archie, generates energy for the local Co-operative supermarket on Church Road. From selling electricity to the store, Torrs Hydro has donated £2,500 to local community groups, including £1,200 to New Mills School’s solar power fund.

Archie began generating power in September 2008, and was the first community-owned and funded hydroelectric project in the UK.

Richard said: “Somebody had to be first and I’m pleased it was us. In many ways we made a lot of mistakes, but others are learning from them.”

Since the New Mills hydro plant has been built, another community hydro company has been set up at nearby Otterspool Weir in Romiley.

Richard said the Torrs Hydro “co-operative business model” was the same one used by Stockport Hydro.

“That’s our legacy, showing that community-owned renewable energy schemes work,” he added.

“We have put the town on the map, in some small way.”

That’s our legacy, showing that community-owned renewable energy schemes work.

Richard Body MBE, Torrs Hydro Finance Director