Yorkshire Dales National Park: New power station planned

  • In Science
  • 2022-09-29 12:15:20Z
  • By BBC

Plans have been unveiled to create a new hydroelectric power station in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Ellergreen Hydro says the scheme, at Winterburn Reservoir in Malhamdale, could power up to 140 homes in the south-west of the park.

The firm wants to harness water flow from a reservoir dam built to help maintain levels on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The proposals are being considered by national park planners.

Ellergreen Hydro says the proposed scheme would offset the emission of 260 tonnes of CO2 annually by generating electricity from a renewable source, which will help limit the effects of climate change.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service the scheme, which has been in development since 2018, did get planning permission in 2019, but the consent for it had since expired.

The new plans will be considered by the park authority as it signs up to the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership's Routemap to Carbon Negative Strategy.

The Routemap, due to be launched in October, has targets for immediate action. It says the region needs to create 1,500MW of capacity from solar, onshore wind and hydropower in the next seven years.

Blended into landscape

Schemes like this, in highly protected areas such as national parks, can be seen as controversial by some, but the planning application states the power station "will barely be visible unless in its immediate vicinity".

Ellergreen Hydro says the hydroelectric technology can be buried, hidden by natural features, and blended into the local landscape.

In the documents the company states such renewable energy schemes "are often the focal point of social debate", and admits the economic effect on the wider community will be "marginal".

The firm says the long-term social effect of the power station, as it has experienced with previously constructed schemes of the scale, "will be that of a positive awareness of renewable energy".

If planning permission is granted then building could start in spring 2023.

The build is expected to take six months and homes could start being powered by hydroelectric electricity in the autumn.

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