Official Switch On for River Bain Hydro

William Hague, MP for Richmond (Yorkshire) officially sr 150 switched on the River Bain Hydro on Friday 13 May 2011.

In front of a crowd of supporters, William Hague MP took time to visit the village of Bainbridge in the Yorkshire Dales, to switch on what is now h2oPE’s third community-owned hydro scheme.

“It’s a great project, strongly to be welcomed both locally and nationally” said William Hague, MP.  “We’re very proud to have the first of these schemes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park area.  The scheme is innovative financially with funding from and a return to the local community”.

William Hague commented on the simplicity of the scheme and its environmental credentials, noting that the effects of climate change can only tackled “if across the world there are local efforts to make sure we are considering the resources of our planet and using them wisely”.

He toasted the health of the project in traditional style, with a drop of Semer Water Summer Ale, from the nearby Wensleydale Brewery.

The River Bain hydro has an installed capacity of 45kW, which will generate enough electricity for around 40 homes. It will save around 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, or 3,000 tonnes over an expected lifetime of 40 years.

“William is our local MP and we were all delighted that he could take time out of his busy schedule to come and officially switch on the hydro” said River Bain Hydro Ltd Director and local resident Yvonne Peacock.  “He’s taken a keen interest in how we’ve been getting on and said he was delighted to see it come to fruition.”

Steve Welsh MD, of h2oPE (Water Power Enterprises), which, as a pioneering social enterprise, was instrumental in setting up the project said:

“It’s been a great day and another landmark achievement for community-owned hydros. So long as there’s water flowing in the Bain, River Bain Hydro can look forward to generating green electricity for at least the next 40 years”.

River Bain Hydro Ltd is an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. Electricity generated from the hydro will be sold to Good Energy. Once shareholders have been paid, any excess profits will be used to support local environmental and educational projects.

There are hundreds of other sites, suitable for community hydros, throughout Yorkshire and the North East of England and h2oPE (Water Power Enterprises) is now looking to develop potential sites.  More information about future projects can be found at

River Bain Hydro will benefit the community as well as protecting the environment,” said Simon Thorrington, Regional Director at Charity Bank.  “We are delighted to support this innovative community-owned hydro, which will save tonnes of carbon dioxide and engage with the local community.”