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Posted on Saturday 2nd May 2009

Power to the People!

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I am very excited by this initiative.

Volunteers step up plans for Renewable Energy in Sheffield

Last night, we agreed plans at the Sheffield Renewables general meeting for bringing exciting renewable energy projects to Sheffield. Our immediate priority is a proposed micro-hydro scheme at Kelham Island.

Group Chair, Rob Pilling, announced that: ‘SCR is working closely with Sheffield City Council and the Sheffield Museums Trust to develop a hydro power scheme at Kelham Island. Technical feasibility work is ongoing and the planning application will be submitted shortly. The project makes strong links to Sheffield’s industrial heritage and culture. It also provides an excellent opportunity for demonstrating and raising the profile of renewable energy within the city.’

The meeting adopted plans to identify and develop a series of schemes over the next few years. Initial interest is around hydro-power, but we are also exploring other technologies such as wind, solar and biomass. We plan to fund a significant proportion of the work through local share offer. So, we will be getting out and about in Sheffield over the coming months to talk to people and encourage them to consider getting on board.

Key to running the first share offer is the setting up of a special type of social enterprise called an Industrial Provident Society. The new organisation will be called ‘Sheffield Renewables.’ (A slightly less unwieldy version of the group’s current full name: Sheffield Community Renewables).

Accompanying the project announcements is an attractive new logo, which we will be incorporating into a revamped website and information materials over the next month or so.

Sheffield Renewables is a local organisation currently run entirely by volunteers. Beyond a modest (e.g. rate of inflation) payment to shareholders, we will use all surplus income from sale of electricity to build further schemes or to support other local projects.

Information or interview: Rob Pilling (RobJPilling@gmail.com)

Website: www.sheffieldcommunityrenewables.co.uk

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