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Community group financially supporting new small hydro facility

RUSWARP, England 11/18/11 (PennWell) -- The Esk Valley Community Energy Group will soon begin work on a small hydroelectric plant after selling more than 125,000 pounds in public shares, the group announces.

The hydropower facility will be located on the River Esk in Ruswarp, near Whitby, North Yorkshire, and will feature an Archimedes Screw turbine with a capacity of 50 kW.

The Archimedes Screw design -- one of several considered by the Esk Valley group -- was selected because it will offer consistency through the River Esk’s annual fluctuations. The design will also allow migratory fish, otters and other protected species to travel downstream through the turbine without harm.

Archimedes Screws - historically used to transfer water uphill - have become more popular for hydroelectric production diven their environmentally-friendly design and their ability to generate power at low-head sites.

Financing for the project has been given in part by the Scarborough Borough Council and the North York Moors and Howardian Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund with the hope that the project will lead to further hydro development at other sites along the River Esk. The remainder will be funded by community shares.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2012. The project is expected to generate about 200,000 kWh of energy each year.

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