Hydropower is set to bring Stockport landmark building Pear Mill, an 18th Century Cotton Mill, into the 21st Century.
On 7th March 2017, Hallidays Hydropower successfully installed a vast water turbine on the River Goyt at Stringer’s Weir, Stockport. Once finished, the turbine will power the impressive Pear Mill, a Grade II Listed, 18th Century Cotton Spinning Mill built in 1913.
In the 1900’s Pear Mill was built and water abstracted, to run the George Saxon 5000hp twin Manhattan Compound steam engines, using the weir built by John Stringer 120 years earlier – more about the history below – a good read!
The Mill was made up of a seven-storey steel frame with cast iron columns. Terracotta was used to detail the red Accrington brick, making Pear Mill the largest most decorated mill in Manchester.
Now in the 20th Century, Stringers weir still stands strong and is being used to produce electricity, using a 100kW Archimedian Screw, to feed the same Pear Mill.
The turbine is 3.5m wide and over 8m in length. It will produce 281Mwh of electricity each year, which would be enough electricity to run 75 standard UK homes. The turbine will save well over 150,000 tones of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
Henry Reily-Collins, Project Engineer, said:
“This has been our most challenging project yet. Prior to our involvement, this hydro scheme had a long history of development attempts by other companies. Getting the Engineering to work and the finances to stack up was no mean feat, however Hallidays Hydropower excel at value engineering and efficient design and have managed to deliver another renewable energy generator, to time and within budget and as sympathetic to the local environment as possible”.
Hallidays Hydropower Ltd have worked extremely closely with the Environment Agency, Council and Local stakeholders such as the Angling fraternity on this installation and have used a fish friendly turbine whilst also installing a Lariniar Fish Pass alongside it, providing safe upstream and downstream migration for fish for the first time since 1791.
- The scheme has cost £750,000
- Client is Guinness Asset Management
- The main contractor is M&H Groundwork
- 95% of the electricity produced will be used by the Mill
- The IRR of the scheme is 6%
Completion is scheduled for May 2017.
A brief History
In the 1700’s Millers had to fight for water to run their mills. Underground water tunnels were built all over Stockport to provide a steady water supply to them. The largest of these tunnels, Stringer’s Tunnel, was built together with Stringer’s Weir by John Stringer in 1791. This fed his reservoir and subsequently his mill. He shared this reservoir with a neighbour, J. Howard who started using so much water that in 1800, John Stringer could only run his mill at night and became bankrupt. A war began between the neighbouring mills and resulted in Howard building a wall across the reservoir. The feud continued forcing the new owner of Stringer’s weir, Peter Marsland, to build Nabs Weir further upstream and also an additional underground tunnel, more than twice the length, which entered the reservoir his side of the wall to avoid being starved of water.
Image: The Archimedean Screw Turbine, arriving onsite after its journey from Italy. Pear Mill can be seen in the background.
Figure 2: The turbine is lifted into place.
Figure 3: The turbine in position. Work now begins on connecting up the electrical components. The generator housing has been designed to complement the Mill using the same red and terracotta bricks.
Hallidays Hydropower Ltd, established in the UK in 2007, is an award winning micro-hydropower company. The founders of Hallidays Hydropower installed the UK’s first domestic Archimedes Screw in 2007, and have since worked on projects for the National Trust, Blenheim Palace as well as multiple listed buildings, private mills and properties. Its parent company, Hallidays Developments, has over 30 years experience in environmental care and civil works. Its innovation team is focused on increased efficiency and lower costs for the hydropower market.