BOSSES at a renewable energy firm say they are “thrilled” to have won a contract from the global home of hydroelectricity.
Mann Power Consulting Limited, of Kirkham, near Malton, has installed an Archimedean screw turbine at Cragside House, near Rothbury, in Northumberland, the first place in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.
The house, which will be lit entirely by electricity supplied from the screw, was seen as a wonder of the late Victorian age when then owner Lord Armstrong developed a system of turning the power of water into electricity.
He first used it to power arc lamps for the house in 1878, then in 1880, installed his friend Joseph Swan’s newly-invented incandescent light bulbs.
Dave Mann, managing director of Mann Power, which was the first firm to introduce the Archimedean screw turbine to the UK, said: “We’re thrilled and privileged to be working at Cragside House, which is where it all began back in the late 1800s when the renewable energy pioneer Lord Armstrong used its lakes to generate hydroelectricity to light the house.”
The Mann Power scheme uses a 17m long Archimedean screw that can produce up to 10kW. Taking its water from Tumbleton Lake, in the house’s grounds, the rotational energy of the screw drives an electric generator, and the power generated is sent through cables to the house.
The new scheme was officially opened by North East actor Robson Green, and will feature on his travelogue Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green, produced by Shiver TV, and to be broadcast on ITV1 early next year.
Mann Power was established in 2004 and has installed more than 50 systems across the UK.
Adrian Clayton, a hydropower consultant at Mann Power, said: “In the hydropower market the Archimedean screw is a popular option as it supported by the Environment Agency because it complies with regulations surrounding fish safety.
“It is also a more robust technology, which has been adopted by a range of customers from small farms and households to business and public sector organisations that are based near a weir.”
Mr Clayton said orders have been boosted at Mann Power following the introduction in 2010 of the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme, which sees those using electricity-generating technology from a renewable or low-carbon source receive money back from their energy supplier.