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Derwent Hydroelectric scheme continues to generate interest

04 December 2013

President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the organisation that represents Britain’s professional planners, praised Derby’s planners for combining a respect for industrial heritage with commitment to revitalising following his visit to the City last month.

It was great to hear of the support that the elected members have for the City's planners and their joint aspirations to improve the city.

Dr Peter Geraghty, President of the RTPI, said: “I was impressed by the commitment of the staff to delivering development to meet the needs of their citizens and to revitalising the city centre. I was particularly impressed with the hydroelectric scheme helping to fuel the Council House, a scheme that is keeping with Derbyshire’s history as birthplace of the industrial revolution. It was great to hear of the support that the elected members have for the City's planners and their joint aspirations to improve the city.”

Councillor Paul Bayliss, Leader of Derby City Council: “We were delighted to host a visit from the RTPI President Peter Geraghty, and it was an honour for the Council to host a meeting with him and for us to have an opportunity to show him round the new council house.”

As part of his visit to Derby, which included a tour of the city centre, Dr Geraghty was shown Derby City Council’s hydroelectric power station which supports the energy requirements and environmental ambitions of the Council. The power station generates clean, renewable power from the city’s biggest natural resource - the River Derwent.

The low carbon, renewable energy supplied by the hydro plant is reducing the financial and environmental costs of energy demands on Derby City Council.  For every 1.2 million kWh units (average production for the hydro for 1 year) 4.8 tonnes of CO2 is emitted, compared to the equivalent 563 tonnes from gas fired power or 1140 tonnes produced from coal fired power.  The idea for the hydroelectric plant itself was initially proposed in 2007/2008 as a way of reducing energy costs and carbon emissions and moving towards self-generation of electricity. Final approval was given in 2011 and the project was started shortly after. The project was completed in December 2012, and after extensive testing, began generating electricity early in 2013. At full capacity the plant will generate up to 50% of the electricity needs of the Council House, depending on demand and water level. The hydroelectric plant will continue to generate energy, even when the Council House is unoccupied i.e. at night or on weekends, and this excess will be sold back to the grid.