Energy Local Totnes says it is proud to officially launch the Totnes Hydro scheme.

To celebrate, Energy Local Totnes is holding a launch event next to the Totnes weir, where the Archimedes screws are generating hydroelectric power. The event will take place on Sunday, June 9, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.

Organisers have said it will be a "fun and informative afternoon" with children's activities, hydro tours, information about Energy Local Totnes, energy-saving advice, and food and drink.

Energy Local Totnes was created by Dr Mary Gillie, an applied physicist and mathematician who designed the algorithms enabling the creation of a virtual energy trading network that can legally operate within local electricity substations.

Jem Friar, Energy Advisor for Energy Local Totnes, said: "We had been attempting to start the club purely with solar energy, but the opportunity arose to switch to using Totnes’ hydroelectricity as our base energy source. This is advantageous because it produces a lot of energy throughout the year, day and night. It also means that we can support the local company that built the hydroelectric power station."

Hydro Launch - ELT
(Hydro Launch - ELT )

Energy Local has created a local power market through Energy Local Clubs. These clubs allow households to collaborate and demonstrate their usage of locally generated clean power. The scheme provides generators with a fair price for their electricity, retains more money within the community, and lowers household electricity bills.

The first club was started in a small town in North Wales in 2016. Energy Local is using the tools, systems, and know-how developed to create more schemes like this across the UK.

The scheme works by having households and small-scale renewable generators form an Energy Local Club, which is legally a co-op. Households have smart energy meters installed to show when and how much power they're using. Members (households and generators) agree on a price or match tariff that will be paid to the generator when they match their electricity use to when electricity is generated locally, for example, turning a washing machine on when the local hydro scheme is at full power. The club chooses a partner energy supplier, such as Octopus Energy, which sells the extra power they need when there is not enough local electricity generated. The supplier sends each household the bill for their total power use.

Totnes Renewable Energy Society obtained grant funding from Devon County Council two and a half years ago to assist in setting up an Energy Local Club within the Totnes area. With the addition of hydroelectricity, ELT can now support another 130 members in the next three months. This will enable club members to buy clean electricity for just 15p per kilowatt-hour and should help members save 15 per cent on their electric bills and potentially over 30 per cent with some energy consumption habit changes.

To find out more, visit the Energy Local Totnes website, and for event details visit the Energy Local Totnes Facebook page.

If anyone would like to book a place on the hydro tour they should contact TRESOC[email protected]