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Welcome To Havannah Weir Hydro Scheme

 

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Welcome to the Dane Valley Community Energy project. It is a community-funded micro-hydro installation developed since 2015 by volunteers to provide renewable electrical energy.

The River Dane presents an obvious opportunity for generating “green” energy. Watching the river flow under Havannah bridge at any time of year it is easy to imagine the energy in the river just waiting to be harnessed! Dane Valley Community Energy Limited was formed to build and run the micro-hydro installation which now captures the energy, using the magnificent weir in Havannah Village.

There are 5 educational panels on site which explain the story of Congleton Hydro, starting with the history of the site, ecology, River Dane and ‘Archie’, the Archimedes screw which generates the electricity. The following project pages expand on the educational panels which we hope brings the project to life for you! Just click on the coloured buttons to learn more! 

History of Havannah Village 

Havannah Weir was built around 1760 to provide power to several mills in the village: working copper, grinding corn, spinning fabric and even cigar making! The weir is just over 4 metres high and it’s this height that provides the power, so it is a perfect site for a micro-hydro installation. 

Local Ecology 

The Congleton Hydro site has two recognised habitats. The ancient woodland and the riparian riverbank. These are identified by the specific mixture of plants and animals. It is this biodiversity which we aim to conserve and enhance, obviously, the construction of the Hydro meant we had a lot of work to do to re-wild the site but thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers we are really happy with the end result. 

 

The Power of the River Dane

Water power on the River Dane has a long and distinguished history, greatly influencing the economic development of Cheshire.

A river has an upper, middle and lower course. Each course displays different valley landforms and channel characteristics. Upstream  from the Havannah weir site the river Dane includes upper course characteristics such as waterfalls, gorges, V shaped valleys and interlocking spurs.

The Dane rises on Axe Edge (map OL24, grid reference 029705) southeast from the junction of the A537 and A54 at Dane Head with a useful area of catchment, able to maintain a strong year-round flow in the Dane. 

The Generator – better known as ‘Archie’.

The Congleton Hydro technology relies on an Archimedes screw to convert the potential energy of the river flow to electricity. The weight of the water drives the screw around which in turn rotates an electrical generator providing up to 65kW of electrical energy. A cable takes the electricity from the generator to the Siemens factory a kilometre away on the Eaton Bank Trading Estate.

DVCE is registered as a Community Benefit Society with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (Registration Number 7142). This legal structure is regulated by the FCA and governed by rules, which can be viewed HERE.