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Hundreds watch mega screw

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Russia today


A gigantic, fish-friendly, 11-metre-long hydrodynamic screw has been imported from Germany and placed in the River Goyt in the north of England to be the UK’s first community-owned small-scale hydro-project and will be used to generate 260,000 kilowatt hours of clean and renewable energy every year.


Weighing a whopping 11.3 tonnes and painted green in an attempt to look unobtrusive in the natural environment, the screw is a modernised version of a 2,000-year-old device, the Archimedean screw. Water from the weir will be channelled into the screw and its weight will cause the screw to rotate and generate electricity. It is expected that 24,000 pounds worth of electricity will be produced - enough to power around 70 homes.


The steel screw began slowly turning in the on the river this week and has so far created eight megawatt hours, which is enough electricity to power 80,000 light bulbs for eight hours. The 260,000-kilowatt hours produced yearly will be used to power a local shop, and any surplus electricity will be sold to the local grid.


So far the project has been a phenomenal success with the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown endorsing the hydro-system in the House of Parliament.


Hundreds of local people from the small town of New Mills showed up to watch the colossal screw leisurely spawn the first megawatt of many. Richard Body from Torrs Hydro, the producers of the screw, and Project Secretary commented:


“We had a great response from the community with so many coming to watch it turn. The potential for this kind of project is enormous.”


The scheme has been recognised as making an outstanding contribution within the world of green energy. Moreover, it has been nominated for a Friends of the Earth “Earthmovers” award. The Project Secretary was ecstatic about the nomination stating:


“It is great to be nominated and just to get the recognition. What we are doing is supporting renewable energy, so it is fabulous to get some credit.”


With today’s anxieties about climate change and the effects non-renewable energy sources have on our planet, the hydro-screw project in New Mills can undoubtedly be considered as an outstanding exemplar in our fight against climate change. But for small renewable energy schemes to be really effective, 50 projects like this would be needed to counter just five per cent of the carbon emissions in a town the size of New Mills.


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