Since 2011 a team of volunteers from Transition Belper were working to reinstate the Hydro Power back into the former wireworks site in Ambergate.
Amber & Derwent Valley Community Energy (ADVyCE) was formed in 2013 to achieve this objective. By early 2015 things were looking very promising and the feasibility study, funded by the Rural Community Energy Fund, confirmed the project was feasible and good to go. Unfortunately in 2015 a change in government led to a change in support for the principle of Community Energy and a significant reduction in support for Renewable Energy. These changes put the project on hold.
It was announced in November 2017 that Feed in Tariff support for all renewable projects would end in March 2019 and not be replaced by any new schemes for the foreseeable future. Following this announcement the project team had one last look at the project to see if they could make it happen whilst there was some support still in place.
Unfortunately the Environment Agency, who are sponsored by DEFRA, have changed the conditions and requirements compared to their initial 2013 response to such a degree that the project is no longer feasible. ADVyCE have had to contact their supportive landowner with the disappointing news.
The door does stay slightly open. If there was a significant change in government policy (of any political persuasion) across all departments then the project could be reconsidered.
Find out more here.