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Bishop opens new hydro-power plant in Cumbria

The Bishop of Carlisle opened the new plant. Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria's latest hydro-power plant has been opened, with an unusual ceremony by the Bishop of Carlisle.

The facility at Rydal in the Lake District, cost £2 million and will power the nearby Conference Centre and up to 400 homes.

The Carlisle Diocese provided a third of the funding for the project, and the Bishop of Carlisle says it underlines the church's commitment to supporting green energy.

We're delighted that everybody who's worked on this project has been from Cumbria and so we hope that it's avery significant project in economic terms which has benefitted the economy of the whole county."

– Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle

WATCH: 'We want to been the greenest we can be'

Cumbria's biggest hydro-electric scheme is nearing completion.

The construction work stretches for almost a mile and a half across a fell near Ambleside.

When complete it will provide the equivalent of half the power needed by the village.

And the project has been a rather unusual backer.

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Cumbria's biggest hydro-electric scheme nears completion

Hydro-electric power Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria's biggest hydro-electric scheme is nearing completion. The construction work stretches for almost a mile and a half across a mountainside just outside Ambleside.

When complete it will provide the equivalent of half the power needed by the village, around 1400 homes.

Hydro-electric power Credit: ITV Border

The force of the water flowing down Scandale Beck is being harnessed and will be turned into hydro-electric power when the £2.8 million project is opened next month. The company building the scheme, Ellergreen Hydro, has a rather unusual partner. A third of the money has come from the Carlisle Diocese of the Church of England.

Martin Jayne, the Chairman of the Carlisle Diocesan Finance Board, says:

We're putting this money into green energy because we do have a policy whereby we want to be the greenest diocese we can be and we're carbon neutral I think is the phrase, the first diocese to be there."

– Martin Jayne
Hydro-electric power Credit: ITV Border

Ellergreen Hydro is involved with more than 15 similar schemes around the Lake District. It says hydro electric power is becoming more and more popular in Cumbria and this scheme will also allow people to choose directly to make use of it.

Mark Cropper, the Managing Director, says:

It's going to be the very first where we're going to be able to actually offer people the ability to buy electricity directly from this scheme and that is pioneering and it's something we're working on right now."

– Mark Cropper

At the moment the construction work has left a very obvious scar on the landscape, but the company says in 18 months it will be impossible to see that any work has taken place here.

Victorian hydro-electric scheme is brought to life

A Victorian hydro-electric scheme that once powered a stately home in the Scottish Borders has been brought back into service.

It uses water from a stream flowing through the UK's first carbon neutral Botanic gardens - they're near Peebles.

Jenny Longden's report contains some flash photography.

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Victorian hydro-electric scheme makes a splash

A Victorian hydro-electric scheme that once powered a stately home in the Scottish Borders has been brought back into service.

The scheme uses water from a stream flowing through Dawyck Botanic Gardens near Peebles to create electricity.

It's the latest of a number of eco-friendly energy sources that makes Dawyck the first carbon neutral botanic garden in the UK.

Botanical garden becomes hydro-electric

The Scrape Burn, where the water supply comes from Credit: ITV Border

A new hydro-electric scheme has been launched at Dawyck Botanic Garden in Stobo, near Peebles.

The scheme will provide enough electricity to power the visitor centre and the Garden's infrastructure.

Surplus electricity will be sold back to the national grid.

Mr Ewing unveils a new plaque on a rock removed during the construction of the plant Credit: ITV Border

The scheme was officially launched by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.

£2million for hydro-electric plant

£2million has been given to the Diocese of Carlisle for a hydro-electric power project Credit: ITV News Border

Diocese of Carlisle's Rydal Hall conference centre has been awarded £2million for a new, hydro-electric project.

The scheme will see the replacement of an existing hydro-electric plant in Rydal Beck which dates back more than 90 years.

Electricity generated will provide on-site power, with the surplus fed back into the local electricity network.