A PROJECT to harvest green energy from the River Stour has taken a step closer to becoming a reality.
A grant of £87,368 has been awarded to the Stour and Vale Micro Hydro Group by local action group, Sowing SEEDS.
The money will be used to kick start a trio of projects, demonstrating how neglected sources of natural power at three historic sites along the River Stour, such as mills, can contribute to the production of green electricity using micro hydro – a type of hydroelectric power.
The awards were presented to Andrew and Karen Doggrell from Benjafield Farm Weir in Milton on Stour, Stephen Burroughs from Lordsmead Mill in Mere and John and Caroline Hooper from Peggs Farm Weir near Blandford Forum.
The grants will allow the development of the pilot demonstration projects, which it is hoped will show the potential energy in rivers that run through Wiltshire and Dorset.
These projects will be monitored over the next five years.
Much of the turbine design and all of the civil engineering has been carried out by local specialist contractors which will support the future development at other sites.
Stephen Burroughs, from the Stour and Vale Micro Hydro Group said: “This grant from Sowing SEEDS has helped us drive forward our ambition to install innovative demonstration projects that are accessible to anyone interested in hydropower from the local community and beyond.”
Sarah Dyke-Bracher from Sowing SEEDS said “We are delighted to be able to support the Stour and Vale Micro Hydro projects.
“They are providing the community with a great asset in the form of pilot demonstration units which all address energy efficiency and are a vital educational facility for everyone.”