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POWER POINT; Hydro plant plan for Aspley.

Byline: By NEIL ATKINSON News Editor

HOMES in Huddersfield could soon by lit by hydro electric power.

A plan to build a small plant on the River Colne at Aspley is set to be unveiled next week.

And, if successful, the plant - using an ancient technique for lifting water in reverse - could be providing power for up to 60 homes.

The hydro power plant would be able to run for at least 50 years and power bills could be cut.

Details of the innovative scheme will be unveiled at a meeting of Kirklees Council's Huddersfield South Area Committee on Tuesday.

Councillors want to kick start consultations on the proposed Micro Hydro Power Plant at Aspley Weir, close to the Snow Island student hostels.

The plant will be community owned and managed and surplus profits will be returned to the community.

Full details of the scheme will be provided by Water Power Enterprises, who have already launched projects in Derbyshire and North Yorkshire.

The presentation on the scheme will be at 7pm at the Huddersfield Methodist Mission in Lord Street.

Steve Welch, of the company, said: "Kirklees Council has agreed to a grant of pounds 75,000 towards the project and the total costs will be about pounds 300,000.

"We hope to attract other grants, arrange a loan and plan to offer shareholdings.

"We did that in New Mills, Derbyshire, and attracted 208 people.

"The power we produce can go into the national grid or it can be used locally and I know there are student flats in the vicinity.

"The plant will incorporate a low head hydro site using the Archimedian Screw, with the water running down the screw providing the power.

"There will also be a small building, no more than 3m x 2m, at the head of the plant.

"The technology is very simple and is proven to work and hydro power is far more efficient that wind power."

The company has also confirmed it is looking at possible other ventures at The Waterfront, off Chapel Hill, Huddersfield, in Mirfield and in Dewsbury.

Clr Roger Battye, who chairs the area committee, said: "We are eager to support projects that use natural resources and heritage to support the environment.

"We are both excited and eager to welcome such a scheme and the benefits that it will bring to the Huddersfield South locality. This project will be brought to life by the local community so it is very important that interested individuals and groups come along."

Archimedes factfile

Mathematician Archimedes was born in 298 BC in Syracuse, Sicily. He died there in 212 BC.

His greatest contributions were in geometry. His most famous work is Measurement of the Circle, where he determined the exact value of pi between the two fractions, 3 10/71 and 3 1/7.

The invention of the Archimedes' screw, a mechanical water pump, has been attributed to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC.

However, others attribute it to Nebuchadnezzar II in the 7th century BC as the device used to irrigate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The Screw consists of a large spiral screw revolving inside a cylinder.

It is used, for example, to raise water for irrigation.

The lowest portion of the screw just dips into the water, and as the cylinder is turned a small quantity of water is scooped up. The inclination of the cylinder is such that at the next revolution the water is raised above the next thread, while the lowest thread scoops up another quantity. The successive revolutions, therefore, raise water thread by thread until it emerges at the top of the cylinder.

Hydro power relies on the same principle in reverse, with the weight of the water turning the screw


PICTURESQUE: The weir at Aspley Picture by Peter Cottle (PC061008Cweir); OLD PRINCIPLE, NEW USE: A modern Archimedes' screw in a pumping station in The Netherlands Picture by M.A. Wijngaarden (s)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2008
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