Hydropower Initiative at Low Wood Bay

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Hydropower Initiative

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is proud to spearhead an exciting renewable energy project to generate power using a hydroelectric turbine. This new green initiative is part of our commitment to reduce our environmental impact and preserve the outstanding natural beauty of the Lake District National Park which Low Wood Bay calls home.

Why Hydropower?

“Drawing on sustainable, local natural resources to generate electricity is something we’ve been keen to investigate and adopt. A hydroelectric turbine is probably the simplest and most effective green energy generating method, with minimal environmental impact. The turbine will generate a consistent power output of 55-60 kW and we’re confident this will provide up to a third of the electricity supply we currently need to run the whole resort.” 

Tim Berry. English Lakes Hotels Estates and Leisure Director

 

Hydroelectric Turbine

Low Wood Bay is situated on 46 acres of private land and fellside. Water is now diverted down an 860 metre long pipeline from the top of the fell behind the hotel, at up to 79 litres per second, to the turbine, which is housed in a Lakeland style dry stone building to blend in with the local environment.  

The hydropower system is fully automatic, with the turbine adjusting the flow through the jets according to the available water.  It is expected to generate a power output of 53kW to 60kW to attain 180MWh to 200MWh of electricity each year, roughly equivalent to powering 50 homes a year.

The vertical fall of the water is about 90 metres, nearly the height of Big Ben and almost twice the height of Niagara Falls. TThe hydro power initiative is predicted to generate 180 MWh annually, which equates to around 33% of our current electricity usage.

Hydropower at Low Wood Bay

Once planning permission was secured the project got underway and the turbine became fully operational at the start of Autumn 2021. English Lakes worked with the Lake District National Park Authority and the Environment Agency appointing GPHL from Penrith as the lead contractor.  GPHL is another local family business which specialises in hydro-electric projects including those at Rydal Hall and the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire. The principal designer for the project is Ellergreen Hydro, who have been designing and building multi megawatt and hydroelectric schemes in Cumbria and Wales for over 10 years. The company also received invaluable help and support throughout the project from the turbine manufacturers, Hydrolite Ltd, who are are experts at working with local communities and smaller sites to establish sustainable energy from renewable sources.

Run-of-the-river hydro-electric projects like this are extremely environmentally friendly. Throughout the project, the Low Wood Bay hydropower scheme was subjected to a rigorous environmental checklist to ensure that there will be no adverse effects on the environment, and that scenery and wildlife remain unaffected.

“Working with GPHL, Ellergreen Hydro, and Hydrolite Ltd our aim is to ensure we meet the most stringent environmental standards and at the same time achieve an industry leading exemplar of sustainable engineering.

”“Combined with the 2,000 trees we planted here at Low Wood Bay in memory of my father Michael Berry, we will now be offsetting 500 tonnes of CO2 per year".

Tim Berry, English Lakes Hotels Estates and Leisure Director