Lancashire residents are bringing “power to the people” with the launch of a scheme to create community-owned clean energy on the River Lune.
A newly formed Community Benefit Society, known as Halton Lune Hydro, has issued a community share offer, with support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, to fund the first of two turbines which are capable of producing a combined 1,000MWh of renewable energy each year.
The energy generated in Halton – a village which has witnessed water powered industry since at least the mid 13th century – will be sold to local eco-homes with surplus energy exported to the Grid.
Profits from the scheme will benefit charitable, educational and environmental projects in the community and surrounding areas.
Kevin Frea, a founder member of Halton Lune Hydro, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for people to play a part in the creation of a community-owned co-operative generating clean, green, renewable energy.
“The enthusiasm and support we have seen so far for the scheme has been incredible.
“We are trying to encourage the widest possible participation.
“The higher the level of community ownership, the less money we need to borrow and therefore, more of the benefits of energy generation can remain in the community.”
Michael Fairclough, head of community and co-operative investment at The Co-operative – which assisted the community through its Co-operative Enterprise Hub – said: “There is significant potential for communities to control, generate and benefit from their own renewable energy.”