Linton Falls, a hydroelectric dam in Grassington, England, was first built in 1909 - a time when oil lamps were the norm. It was decommissioned in 1948 after light bulbs became commonplace and the region got a main power supply. Since then, it's been kept as a historic monument.
Recently, though, Linton Falls is being reexamined. A study published by English Heritage (a group dedicated to protecting and promoting English historic sites) argues that the dam, as well as other historic sites, can play a significant role in carbon reduction. And so, the Linton Falls dam will run once again and produce emission-free electricity.
The technology being used is an adaptation of the ancient Archimedes Screw (pictured above), a large screw that was designed to carry water upwards as it turned. The Linton Falls plant will reverse that concept: the adjacent Wharfe River will flow downwards through two screws, spinning them fast enough to generate energy for 100 homes. Each screw is 35 feet long and six feet wide. The plant will generate about 510,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, saving around 216 tons of carbon dioxide emissions compared to equivalent fossil fuel-powered generation.
The project is scheduled to be finished by next summer and up to 50 other old mill sites could be up and running next if the Linton Falls site is successful.
Image via Creative Commons
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