Hebden Bridge Mill Eco Sustainability Plan

The Eco Sustainability Plan

Please feel free to explore our new sustainability initiative and the historic structures within which they are set. The 700 year old weir at the rear of the mill, complete with its original fish ladder to allow fish access to the upper river for their annual spawning, still directs water through the 19th century sluice gate into the head goit.

From here the water has two possibilities, one through a pipe beneath the terrace to power the waterwheel, the other through the automatically operated gate to the very modern Archimedes Screw hydropower turbine. Up to 10 Kilowatts per hour is generated by peak winter flows with a throughput of more than 500 litres of water per second, although often less in summer, when the flow is less.

The power generated serves all our needs for lighting, kitchen equipment (coffee machines, fridges, freezers, dishwasher, etc). In this way we save about 20,000 kilos per year of Carbon Dioxide, which otherwise would have entered the atmosphere!

In addition we have the further environmental benefit of Hydropower for transport, in the form of the small electric car, which you may see often parked on our forecourt, occasionally plugged into its charging point. Unlike many electric vehicles, this one is not simply taking power from the nearest fossil fuel generating station it is actually running on fully sustainable, carbon free water power!

Probably the most spectacular part of our energy array is the 4 ton, 14 feet diameter, breast undershot waterwheel on display in the café. The old wheel was smashed by vandals during the derelict years and what we see today is a replica, locally made in cast iron with traditional green oak spars. Originally designed for direct power generation, this purpose has now been taken over by the much more efficient turbine but the wheel is to be pressed into use as a battery charger for back-up and emergency use.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff. And remember, that it is your patronage that has enabled these developments to take place and to continue. For all that we get free power to run our business in this environmentally ethical manner, the very considerable original investment of over £250,000 yet remains to be repaid!

We thank you for making your contribution.

Using Renewable, Sustainable Energy

Just remember that it doesn’t cost the earth to shop,
eat or drink at Innovation.

Hydro power electricity from the river.