Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Waterways invests in hydro-power

Canal boat
British Waterways is responsible for maintaining water networks

British Waterways is to invest 120m over the next three years in a project aimed at generating enough renewable energy to power thousands of homes.

It has signed a partnership with The Small Hydro Company, which develops hydro-electricity installations.

The initiative will develop 25 hydro-electricity schemes along British Waterways' 2,200-mile network of canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs.

British Waterways says the plan will create 150 construction jobs.

It also says it will generate 210,000 mega watt hours of renewable energy a year, enough to power about 40,000 homes.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: "This will help cut carbon emissions and further secure energy supplies."

British Waterways has been responsible for water networks in England, Scotland and Wales since the late 1940s when the waterways were nationalised.

In October, British Waterways announced an initiative to bring forward wind turbines on land by canals.

Income from both initiatives will be used to maintain the waterways.

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