A WEIR in Colne could be used to generate electricity after a community group received funding for a feasibility study.
Waterside Neighbourhood Action Group has been awarded £500 by Pendle Council and £1,500 from Lancashire County Council to fund the survey at Colne Water.
The survey will determine if the flow of the water can be harnessed to generate hydro power.
Derek Mann, chairman of the group, said: “We have this great weir and I’ve always wondered if it would be worth getting a generator on it.
“I mentioned it to the action group and they all thought it would be a good idea and so we are very happy to have received the grant from Pendle Council and Lancashire County Council to help us find out just how feasible it is.”
It is unclear how many homes would benefit from electricity from a community hydroelectricity scheme in Colne, but a similar project in Whalley, due to be completed in October, is expected to generate 345,000 kwh of electricity each year – enough to power at least 100 homes.
The turbine installed at Whalley weir cost £750,000, but those involved with the project say that after the initial outlay, the scheme is costless to run.
Derek said: “It cost Whalley a lot of money but our weir is smaller. Until the survey comes back, we won’t know how much it would cost to implement and if it would be worth it, but we feel as though we definitely need to find out one way or another.”
Fiona Cruchley, at Lancashire County Council’s Environmental Project Team, said: “The study will be carried out by a specialist firm based in Kendal and will begin in the next week or so.
“They will mainly be looking at the force and flow of the water to determine how much energy could be generated and whether or not a hydroelectricity scheme would make sense for the community.
“The findings will be with us in eight to 12 weeks so we should know by early autumn if Colne can be considered for a hydroelectricity scheme.”