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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

Campaigner slams renewable energy plan

Farmer Tom Parker has come up with the plan. Credit: ITV Border

Plans to build a renewable energy plant in Lauderdale have been criticised by campaigners.

They say the anaerobic plant could be bigger than the village, and a blight on the landscape:

The whole site with access roads encompasses about 33 acres, which will become effectively an industrial gas complex, sited in the beautiful Lauderdale.

The feed stock for that gas will be harvested from about 4,500-5000 acres across the Borders, those acres in themselves will come out of food production, whether it be for you and I, that could be 30 or 40 million loaves of bread lost.

To actually bring that feed stock into the site it's going to require about 6,000 - maybe 7000 - heavy goods vehicle movements. And this massive complex will produce about 2.5MW of power. Two wind turbines will produce as much power as this whole site."

– Iain Lyle, Campaigner

But the farmer behind the plans says they would create a new road, and ensure the plant blends into the landscape as much as possible:

There will be an increase in traffic but the last thing that we want is not to be able to get out of the farm because of traffic. We're also creating a new road into the plant itself so most of the farm's traffic, which currently goes past all our neighbours' doors, will now be transferred and going down the new access way, so we're doing everything we can.

In response to the view, we're designing it sympathetically into the landscape: we'll create humps around it to try and shield it as much as possible and dig it into the hill as much as possible. We're the nearest people to it. We don't want to look upon an industrial area. We want to look upon the green and natural beauty that we've got around us."

– Tom Parker, Collielaw Farm

The farmer is working with Temporis Wind on the plans:

We're in the early stages of investigating the possibility of developing an anaerobic digestion plant at Collielaw and will hold a Public Open Day at Carfraemill Hotel on December 8th."

– Temporis Wind Spokesperson


Lauderdale residents object to alternative renewable energy plans

Isa Middlemass of Collielaw Farm thinks the anaerobic digester could be a good idea Credit: ITV Border

People in Lauderdale in the Borders are objecting to plans to build a 20 acre anaerobic digester plant on farmland.

It'll create renewable energy and give the farm a sustainable income but villagers in Orton say it'll be almost as big as the village itself and doesn't belong in the countryside.

It's just not in the right place. You know, I don't object to these things at all but the size of an industrial estate in the countryside is just not on.

– Isla Middlemass, Lauderdale Resident

Farming is in a real dire position at the moment and we're in a position that every tonne of grain that leaves our farm we know we're going to lose money on so we're trying to look at alternative ways of dealing with that and the AD seemed like quite a good idea.

– Tom Parker, Collielaw Farm

The mystery machine on Maryport beach

It's a blustery day at Maryport, where our reporter's meeting one of the men behind a four-metre high power generator that has been installed there.

You can see the full story on this evening's programme.


Making waves at Maryport

The C-Cell is being tested at Maryport. Credit: University of Cumbria

Maryport's shoreline has an unusual new addition: an electricity-generating machine.

The C-Cell is a four-metre high curved paddle.

It's been installed by local company MPM North West Ltd, funded by the Renewable Energy Test and Education Centre at the University of Cumbria.

They claim it could double the energy which can currently be captured from ocean waves

Wind farm plans refused in Dumfries and Galloway

The wind farm could have created 100 jobs Credit: ITV News Border

Plans for a 21 turbine wind farm near Lockerbie have been refused.

The Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing ruled out the plans. He said: "We want to see the right developments in the right places. That is why I have refused permission for the proposed wind farm at Newfield, which would have brought unacceptable impacts on the landscape.”

AES, the company behind the plans for the wind farm at Newfield, says it's disappointed as the site could have contributed to Scotland's target of creating all its electricity from renewable sources.

The farm was expected to support 100 jobs and generate contracts worth £26 million to the Scottish economy.

NFUS appeal for AD plant support

The National Farmers Union of Scotland is urging the UK government to think again over a cut in support for some types of renewable energy.

Anaerobic Digesters are ideal for farmers, because they convert waste products into energy.

There's been a reduction in the tariff payed to people who produce energy in this way and the NFU Scotland fears that could discourage farmers from installing so-called AD plants.

Fiona McIlwraith went to a farm in Dumfries and Galloway which is building one of the first plants in Scotland.

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