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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 17:54 GMT
Rural hydro-electric plan offered
Villages in part of Derbyshire could be generating their own power according to a conservation charity.

Friends of the Peak District is carrying out a study to find which locations have the most potential for hydro-electricity.

It said many places had used water power before where rivers once powered mills during the industrial revolution.

A charity spokesman said it was meeting residents to explain how the idea could be profitable and practical.

Hydro-power has huge potential in the National Park
Richard Godley, Peak District National Park Authority
Steph Woodhouse from the charity said it had surveyed about 100 sites and 40 would be computer modelled with the intention of making a shortlist of 10 of the most promising.

"Sometimes you have to look at what our forefathers did and how they used the landscape.

"The beauty of hydro-electric is that it can be very small scale and it has a very low impact on the landscape but there is a potential to make a profit."

Ms Woodhouse highlighted a scheme in Devon which cost 80,00 to set up and was making 20,000 annually within four years.

Peak District National Park Authority Sustainable Development officer Richard Godley said: "We fully support the Friends' project.

"Hydro-power has huge potential in the National Park and we are able to offer advice and contacts for anyone who wants to explore micro-turbines further."

Friends of the Peak District is holding two meetings in Glossop and Cromford Mill this week and expected the shortlist to be ready in the coming months.



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