Manchester’s Salford Quays, which already hosts a low carbon district heating network, could become home to a hydroelectric plant large enough to power 500 homes.
Energy company Renewables First has submitted a request for a formal screening opinion from Trafford Council over the proposed scheme, which would straddle the Manchester Ship Canal that links Manchester and Liverpool.
If approved, the plant’s turbine would reportedly have a generating capacity in excess of 500kW.
The opportunity for generating power using the canal has also been explored by Peel Energy, which has planning permission for a scheme up to 1.2MW in capacity.
The newly proposed plant would be based at Mode Wheel Locks, the last set of locks on the canal before it enters the Salford Quays basin, home to the 36-acre MediaCityUK development.
MediaCityUK houses more than 250 businesses, including BBC North and ITV, and has won awards for its sustainability credentials.
The development’s has a ‘tri-generation’ energy centre that provides low carbon combined heat and power (CHP) to buildings across the estate through a district heating network.
As well as providing electricity and useable heat, the system works in conjunction with a canal water cooling system to keep buildings cool in summer.
A wider energy management programme across the development has also helped to save around £850,000 in annual energy savings to date.