PLANS to build a micro hydropower scheme on a farm in Cumbria have been approved.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have approved plans from Samuel Frankland to install a 8kW micro hydro scheme at Needle House near Kirkby Stephen.

The proposals include the installation of a sump which collects water as well as the construction of a domestic shed sized building to house a turbine with a penstock (pipe) connecting the two.

The proposed scheme will supply Needle House and the farm buildings with the majority of their annual energy supply and export any surplus energy to the distribution network.

The design and access statement says: “The applicant intends to increase their portfolio of renewable energy schemes under their ownership with a view to their properties and organisation as a whole becoming 100 per cent powered by renewable energy sources.

“This will reduce the reliance on imported electricity and fossil fuel sources, and in future will enable funds to be directed to other goals such as increased efforts in environmental protection, biodiversity and conservation.

“The applicant also supports efforts to address and seek solutions to climate change and is therefore making an effort to contribute towards National and regional requirements for clean energy.”

According to planning documents the proposed Needlehouse Gill scheme will ‘barely be visible’ unless in its immediate vicinity.

Plans state that the proposed micro hydro scheme is projected to provide up to 52.8 MWh of renewable electricity per year, equivalent to the consumption of 12 average homes, preventing the emission of 24.18 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority approved the application on February 28.