Two notes from different perspectives:

1.  Fish Legal take Environment Agency to task over River Wear hydropower scheme

Fish Legal has written to the Environment Agency highlighting local anglers’ concerns about potential over-abstraction and design flaws in a hydro-electric scheme on the River Wear resulting in fish deaths at Framwellgate weir in Durham city centre. Enclosed with the letter are photographs and videos showing fish caught in the turbine chamber being hurled and battered, despite the hydro-electric scheme receiving the full approval of the Environment Agency at the time of construction as being in line with its own guidelines on hydro-electric scheme design. The letter in particular highlights a lack of adequate fish screens. In addition, Fish Legal has raised concerns that the Environment Agency does not measure the adequacy of the flows in the River Wear, from which the hydro-electric scheme takes water to generate power, next to the hydro-electric scheme in Durham but instead takes measurements at Chester-le-Street some five miles or so downstream, where flow is enhanced by a number of tributaries. This casts great doubt over the accuracy of monitoring the sustainability of operation of the scheme at times of low flow. In addition, a gauge-board, designs of which were included in the licence conditions to show the public the river levels adjacent to the scheme, has not been installed. Click here to read more

2. Cheshire hydro project hits crowdfunding target in just two days

The River Weaver in Cheshire, where the hydroelectric plant is planned. New hydro project proposed for the River Weaver in Cheshire raises £635,000 in 51 hours, putting the scheme on track to start construction. A new hydroelectric scheme proposed for the River Weaver in Cheshire has smashed expectations and met its £635,000 fund-raising target in just over 48 hours. Developers Hydrosense Renewables and Triodos are working together. Click here to read more

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