Tellisford Mill's 50kW hydro plant lights up the community

Hydro-electricity, generated by the current of the river Frome, is now supplying households in the village of Tellisford in Somerset

1 May 2007

Hydro-electricity generated by the current of the river Frome is now being supplied to households in the village of Tellisford in Somerset.

Tellisford Mill is part of the Mendip Power Group, a chain of 15 historic water mills along the Frome which, with CSE's help and support, has been working towards the installation of modern hydropower units and the generation of renewable energy. At 50kW, this is a large ‘micro-hydro' installation, and its inauguration was duly celebrated by scores of people including the local MP, David Heath, representatives of the Environment Agency, TV crews and many others.

The turbine came from Germany and the restoration of the mill buildings, the water channels through the mill and the weir has taken upwards of four years and a great deal of work by owner Anthony Battersby. Tellisford Mill is the second of the group to be connected to the grid, joining pioneer Shawford Mill which began generating energy last year. Next on line is likely to be Stowford Mill downstream, with the rest - Burcott Mill, Bleadney Mill, Jackdaws Iron Works, Old Mill, Glencot House, Coleford Mill and Farrants Mill — hopefully following in due course.

At that point, the ten mills in the Mendip Power Group will have a total installed capacity of 147kW, an average annual energy output of about 600,000kWh, and an annual saving in CO2 emissions of some 260 tonnes.

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