Hydro-electric station for Clitheroe’s Waddow Weir?

hydro power scheme

hydro power scheme

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I have read with great interest the recently delivered leaflet issued by Whalley Community Hydro, inviting people to invest in a scheme for a hydro-electric generating station at Whalley Weir.

A scheme of this nature is far less visually intrusive than a wind farm, whose “swooshing” noise can affect properties quite some distance away and also TV reception. Although output will be affected by river flow, this is far less likely to vary than do wind speeds. An annual output of some 345,000 kilowatt hours is envisaged.

Information held by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (www.ceh.ac.uk) reveals the River Calder at Whalley drains a catchment of some 316 square kilometres, with a mean flow of 8.629 cubic metres a second, measured at the gauging station below the weir at Whalley Abbey.

This led me to look at the comparable figures for the River Ribble. There is a catchment is 456 square kilometres above the Henthorn gauging station and the mean flow rate here is 13.635 cubic metres a second.

At first glance, the greater flow rate of the Ribble would seem to indicate a potential generating capacity of about 545,000 kilowatt hours per annum were a similar hydro-electric scheme to be built at Clitheroe’s Waddow weir.

The Environment Agency has made the provision of a fish pass a requirement of the Whalley scheme. Since one already exists at Waddow, this expense would not be needed. Are there any moves afoot for the provision of a scheme at Waddow?

Anthony A Cooper,

Peel Park Avenue, Clitheroe