On Wednesday, March 13th the application to build and operate “Congleton Hydro@Havannah Weir” was considered and passed unanimously at Cheshire East’s Northern Planning Committee meeting held in Macclesfield.

Receiving the planning permission on time was extremely important for Congleton Hydro project as it gave the scheme the chance to join the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT). The FIT scheme is a government programme designed to promote the uptake of renewable and low carbon electricity generation technologies. Introduced in April 2010, the scheme facilitated payments for generation and export of electricity from eligible installations. The FIT scheme is available to anyone who had installed/is looking to install technologies such as Solar, Wind, Hydro up to a capacity of 5MW.

The scheme has been judged to have had some success, especially in the number of Solar installations and with the cost of Solar installations reducing over the years, so has the value of the FIT payment. In 2014 the payment was approx. 20p/kWh, today the payment is 8.03p/kWh. Qualifying for the FIT scheme is fundamental to the robustness of our business plan. Planning Approval was the outstanding element necessary for the FIT application and this has now been submitted. Next key step in the process of realising the Hydro Scheme is to carry out site condition surveys.

These will enable the basis for robust design and build quotations to be obtained especially for the civil works e.g. access track, water inlet structure, Archimedes Screw foundations etc. We can then firm up on the all-important Business Plan, which underpins the preparation and launch of the Share Offer Prospectus to raise the necessary capital funds.