The Arkwright Society has secured £330,000 from Severn Trent Water and Derbyshire County Council to install a new green energy system at Cromford Mills, Derbyshire. The original mill, restored and owned by the Society, was built in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright and was the world’s first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill. It is a key part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
The project will involve reinstating a waterwheel and installing a 20kW hydro-turbine to power the buildings. Water heat pumps will also be installed in the structure and an old turbine in nearby Cromford village will be restored. Work on the new power systems is due to begin in September 2022 with the aim of being fully operational by June 2023.
Simon Gill, the society’s operations director, said: “It’s probably the most significant thing that’s going to happen here to return water power to the original mill that created the first factory system at the start of the Industrial Revolution.” He added that an aspect of the scheme which was “close to his heart” was the reduction of the site’s carbon footprint and emissions. When complete the project will also be used to educate people visiting the site about renewable energy sources. For further details on the site follow this link: https://www.cromfordmills.org.uk/about/