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Quality Bunkhouse Accommodation by Nenthead Mines on the C2C

Nenthead Hydropower

Nenthead mines are found near Alston in Cumbria and form part of the North Pennines, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Site history

Miners have been active at Nenthead since the late 1600s exploiting the area's reserves of lead and silver. Throughout the site's history various water-courses were excavated, originally to drive water-wheels and then hydro-electric turbines to power the mining operations.

Mining operations for lead and silver ore stopped at Nenthead in 1965. The hydropower station was re-developed as a joint venture between TradeLink Solutions Ltd and the North Pennines Heritage trust in order to power the local visitors' centre and to generate renewable energy for the local electricity distribution network. Construction began in April 2004 and was completed in May 2005.

Today's station is on the site of an original turbine house and utilises the same ancient water-courses which still carry water today.

The hydropower plant

Our project at Nenthead actually combines the generation of two smaller hydropower projects that run virtually side by side. Water is taken from two separate water courses, Perry's Dam and Handsome Mea, via two separate buried pipelines and into two separate turbines that sit in one turbine house building. All of the water used is subsequently charged to the River Nent. The two turbines are 245kW and 90kW respectively and in total can generate up to 350kW, enough to power 200 homes.


The development has not added any new water-courses those found or created during the historic mining operations. However, due to the age of these water-courses, some renovation and restoration work has been required. TLS Hydro and the North Pennines Heritage Trust de-silted these courses and replaced some damaged flow regulation structures.