Aire & Calder hydroelectric power plant opens

Published: Friday, 10 November 2017

A MASSIVE hydroelectric power plant has been opened on the Aire & Calder Navigation at Knottingley, that it is stated will generate electricity for over 100 years.

This is the third such scheme that has been built in Yorkshire providing constant energy and is regarded as a much cleaner way to produce electricity and cheaply, Alan Tilbury reports.

Renewable energy

Speaking at the unveiling, Chief Executive of Barn Energy, Mark Simon, pointed out:

“We wanted to build a long-term source of renewable energy that will be here in 100 years’ time. Nobody will rock up in 20 years and say ‘we can do this better’ because you can’t really.

“What you have here is an investment that is able to do the same thing in a 100 years. All of the work, barring the turbines, has been sourced from firms within 70 miles of here. This is the third scheme we’ve built in as many years here in Yorkshire—and each one is bigger than the last.

"The two huge turbines help manage the flow of water, with each handling 15 tonnes of water per second. The turbines are the clever but invisible part. They are highly-efficient at extracting the maximum amount of energy and turning it into electric energy which we ultimately send out to the wider world."

Fish passage

A new fish passage, which cost £2m, will allow salmon and other species to swim upstream—something not possible with the previous weir. Salmon and sea trout have been blocked by this weir for two centuries, and will be able to get up past this weir, the next one and the next so possibly there will be samon up the Calder.