clean green power

Huckworthy Mill

Micro-hydro electricity generation at Huckworthy Mill on Dartmoor

CGP are planning to build a small hydro-electricity plant on the River Walkham at Huckworthy, near Tavistock and within Dartmoor National Park. Plans are well advanced and, after prolonged discussions with the Environment Agency, licences for the abstraction, impoundment and transfer of water from the river have been granted.

The scheme will produce up to 100kW of power at peak and will, on average, power 104 houses, based upon the latest data from The Carbon Trust, and save more than 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The plant and infrastructure are long-term investments which will, we hope, produce electricity for at least the next 50 years. The electricity produced will contribute to the Dartmoor National Park policy target for renewable energy, sustainable development and a low carbon society. It will also contribute towards the UK Government commitment for renewable energy generation, a commitment made to the EU and the UN.

The generation of electricity at this site has the additional benefit of maintaining and improving the cultural heritage and ecology of this beautiful area of Dartmoor. Hydro-electricity is recognised as having the lowest impact of any renewable energy generation and, as part of the development, we will be restoring an historic leat, one that pre-dates Drake’s Leat. The weir was originally established in the 16th Century although none of the original structure is still in place. It has been replaced and repaired over time, most recently in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The weir itself is in an unstable state and will be lost altogether if no action is taken. We will be building a new fish pass as part of the scheme and repairing the most vulnerable parts of the weir as part of our commitment. We will retain as much of the heritage of the leat and weir as possible, including the 19th Century sluice gate posts.

The fish pass has been designed to meet the latest EA design criteria and will improve the passage of migrating fish to the protected spawning grounds upstream. The Agency will also tightly control the volume of water abstraction and the levels remaining in the river will ensure that the fish population will be maintained. The slow moving water in the reopened leat will also improve the biodiversity of the area and the habitats of protected species, such as dormice, will be undisturbed.

Water power has been used on Dartmoor for hundreds of years to power milling, mining activities and transport. Re-opening the leat also means that at a future date, the activities of the mill could be restored. The power house, near the mill, will be a small unobtrusive building, stone-faced to look like a small barn and with internal sound proofing to limit audible sound to within 20 metres.

We are hoping to receive consent to the planning application currently under review with the National Park Authority and hope to commence construction in the Spring of 2013. Detailed information of this scheme is available from the Documents tab or by writing to info@cgp-sw.co.uk

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Detailed information about Huckworthy Mill can be found in the following documents:

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Hydrograph

Hydrograph 2