Nantwich weir and beach - adjacent to Mill Island - warm day in late-May 2021 (1)

A new hydro project launched by Nantwich Mill Community Energy Company aims to generate clean and green energy for the town – come rain or shine.

The not-for-profit Community Benefit Society has been awarded £100,000 by the North West Energy Hub’s Rural Community Energy Fund.

And it will use the funds to deliver two hydro electric generation schemes on the River Weaver based at the Mill Island and Beamheath weirs.

The company also plans to install solar panels on commercial and community properties, selling energy back to those organisations at a discount rate.

Reaseheath and Carlton Holdings have already signed up to tap into energy from the two hydro generators.

Volunteer Chairman Stephen Welch said: “With gas and oil driving an economic and environmental crisis there’s never been a better time to invest in clean, green, sustainable and affordable energy.

“As renewable technologies become cheaper and ever more efficient, solar and hydro are now a really good investment.”

river weaver exhibition - Welsh Row Bridge Photo Paul Topham 1024Renewable energy experts Locogen and Derwent Hydro will develop detailed plans to meet all the legal requirements for building the hydro schemes.

And community share experts Shareenergy will manage a community share issue, which they aim to go live once the project gets planning permission.

Similar projects are already running including the Congleton Hydro which is generating energy and income for the community.

Congleton Hydro is sharing its expertise with the Nantwich project team.

The Nantwich team comprises volunteers from the across the local community with backgrounds in engineering, construction, business, agriculture, education, wildlife and the environment.

Project patrons are environmental writer and thinker Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE, and Nantwich resident and international music star Thea Gilmore.

Sustainable Nantwich Treasurer John Garrett will be on the new company’s board.

He said: “The project will demonstrate that cutting carbon is not just the right thing to do for future generations, but a shrewd financial move today.

“We want to make Nantwich a centre of environmental expertise and energy.

“It’s a special place! Together we really can create a brighter future.”

Reaseheath Deputy Principal Iain Clarke, also on the team, said agriculture was a key player at the heart of the Nantwich community.

He said: “We’ve got lots of roofs and fields where we could harvest the power of the sun.

“This new company is the perfect vehicle to help the college help the community. It’s the only way to go.”

Other organisations and companies are in discussions about playing their part on the solar and hydro revolution.

Anyone interested in supporting the project can email [email protected] or find out more at

One Comment

  1. Great project, well done everyone! Certainly intend to buy a share when they’re available. Shame Congleton beat us to it.

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