The Lydney Local Power project is a community based sustainable energy project located in the town of Lydney on the banks of the River Severn in Gloucestershire. The project is co-ordinated by the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) in partnership with the Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council and Lydney Town Council.
The project set out to establish a 'Community Energy Club' that would enable local people to become actively involved in sustainable energy projects in and around the town. Club members have identified and begun to develop both a small scale hydro power site and a community wind turbine. A full funding package is in place for the hydro scheme and applications are being prepared for Environment Agency licenses. The wind turbine site has been out to consultation and the group are currently working with BT to establish the clearance needed from a fixed microwave link that runs close to the site.
The club has also been actively promoting domestic energy efficiency measures in the town and working with schools and community groups to change energy behaviour. Almost 500 energy efficiency measures have been installed as a result of this work and are calculated to be worth 66,000 Euros with lifetime CO2 savings of 3,865 tonnes.
Lydney Local Power has been funded over two years by the Energy Saving Trust Innovations Programme.
The club membership has now grown to 115 members and has established itself as a partner in the regeneration of the town. The club has developed a good working structure and has a very committed steering group of 14 people.
The Norchard Drift hydro project has a full finance package in place with funds coming from the Sainsbury's Family Trust, the EDF Green Energy Fund and DTi Clear Skies program. The applications for the Environment Agency Land Drainage Consent and Impoundment License are ready to be submitted.
The grid connected hydro electric scheme will generate 55,000 kWh of electricity per annum over a 25 year lifetime. The scheme is expected to be installed by March 2005.
Table 1: Hydro Project Summary
The energy efficiency campaigns were particularly successful and resulted in a range of domestic measures being installed in homes around the town. The installations include a ground source heat pump and two solar water heaters; a pellet stove has been purchased but is yet to be installed.
The results are summarised in Table 2:
Table 2: Energy Efficiency Measures
Community Wind Turbine
The community wind turbine site has been put out to consultation with various statutory bodies such as the MOD, CAA and BT. Initial several objections were raised and these have been successfully addressed by the community group. One outstanding issues remains concerning a fixed microwave link that passes close to the site. The energy commercial manager at BT is currently investigating the required clearance at the site. Providing that the required space is available the group will continue to develop the site as a community owned turbine.