Built in 1874, the Grade II-listed Dutton Locks on the River Weaver in Cheshire are still used by boats today, and are a popular destination for walkers and cyclists.
Going back as far as 2012, both Kingsley and Frodsham Transition Initiatives showed interest in the potential for development of a hydro system to generate power from the sluices near the locks, which form part of the river’s flood control defences.
The Canal & River Trust has announced that a hydro scheme is now being constructed beside Dutton Sluices by Hydropol, a company which has extensive experience in the construction of hydro power plants worldwide. The scheme itself, which comprises a single Archimedes screw, is due to be complete by Spring 2022. The site is predicted to generate 900,000 KW hours per annum equivalent to the electricity requirement of approximately 150 average homes.
The land for the scheme at Dutton is leased to Hydropol, who will own and maintain the hydro scheme. Once completed, the construction site will be reinstated and a two-metre high fence will be built around the scheme as per the planning permission already granted.
The Canal & River Trust now has 11 hydro sites, with third parties using its waterways to generate approximately 22 megawatt hours per annum, equivalent to the demands of approximately 6,000 average homes.