Barn Energy’s hydropower scheme at Kirkthorpe on the River Calder, near Wakefield, has been shortlisted for a British Construction Industry Award, organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers and New Civil Engineer magazine. The British Construction Industry Awards, which are in their 30th year, recognise excellence in project delivery, design, construction and delivering benefit for society.
The Kirkthorpe hydroelectric power plant, which was officially opened in March 2017, is the largest low-head river hydro plant ever to be built in Yorkshire and the largest plant commissioned in England since the start of the century.
Harnessing the flow of the River Calder, the 500kW scheme has a powerful turbine to generate renewable electricity, enough to supply 800 homes in perpetuity. The £5.3m plant is generating electricity 24/7, and will do so for the next 100 years. It was completed on time and on budget, and is helping the local environment by improving the quality of the River Calder. The scheme is owned and operated by Barn Energy’s sister company, Yorkshire Hydropower Limited.
Kirkthorpe is the second river hydro scheme that Barn Energy has built in Yorkshire; its smaller Thrybergh scheme, on the River Don near Rotherham, opened in October 2015. A third project, at the Brotherton Weir on the River Aire near Knottingley and close to the old Ferrybridge coal-fired power station, is scheduled to enter operation later this year.
More than 100 people worked on the Kirkthorpe project, many of whom working for companies based in Yorkshire and the north of England. Yorkshire’s ANF Consulting and JNP Group designed the project, whilst Eric Wright Civil Engineering, part of the Eric Wright Group, was the main civil engineering contractor. Cobalt was the project manager for Kirkthorpe.
Mark Simon, Chief Executive of Barn Energy said: “We have been amazed at the levels of interest shown in Kirkthorpe and we are delighted that it’s now been shortlisted for a national award. All credit to everyone on the team who were involved in its design and construction: it was a fantastic team effort.”
The Kirkthorpe project is shortlisted in the Civil Engineering Project of the Year (up to £10m) category of the BCI Awards; the Award winners will be announced in October 2017.