Settle Hydro is a micro hydroelectric scheme, owned by the community, in Settle, North Yorkshire, England. It is located on the River Ribble, at Settle Weir near Bridge End Mill. It uses part of the former mill race. A screw turbine, which uses the principle of the Archimedean screw, generates 50 kW of electricity.
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Settle weir was built across the Ribble to provide a head for the Bridge End Mill which occupies the same site. Bridge End Mill was built to mill corn, but was converted to spin cotton. Later it was fitted out to become a woodworking shop providing furniture for the local chapels out of imported cedar. Though the wheel still turns, it is not connected to any shafts, and the mill building has been converted to housing.
Planning permission and the Abstraction Licence were granted in February 2009 and the share issue started in September 2008 raised the necessary capital at a cost of £410,000. Lakeland Marine Construction began work in June 2009 and completed it in October with Settle Hydro Ltd generating electricity by November of the same year. Over the forty-year lifetime of the scheme that generates 165,000 kWh per annum, it is envisaged that 3,200 tonnes of carbon will be saved.
Despite the installation of a fish ladder adjacent to the screw, there is a worry that the hydro plant has had an adverse effect on the salmon in the river. The fish numbers upstream of the screw have dropped since it was installed and it is believed that the noise from the screw is scaring the salmon. However, during periods of low flow water, the turbine automatically shuts own to maintain a constant flow of water through the fish pass.
- "Settle Hydro; Scheme". Settle Hydro Ltd. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- "History". Settle.org. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- Nelson, Jim (1994). "The Watermills of Ribblesdale". North Craven Heritage Trust. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Brignall, Miles (13 September 2008). "'We see electricity fall from the sky'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Settle Hydro Sparks Social Enterprise Award". The Yorkshire News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Settle hydro power switch-on is just weeks away". The Westmorland Gazette. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Salmon fishing 'harmed by hydro scheme'". TheYorkshire Post. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- Tate, Lesley (23 March 2020). "Wet February saw record power output at Settle Hydro". Craven Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
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