Water wheel to serve up green power at Bath’s Old Mill hotel
A riverside hotel on the edge of Bath is hoping to produce its own electricity by updating and renovating its water wheel.
The Old Mill, in Batheaston, is working with Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE) to draw up plans to harness the untapped resource of the River Avon as part of a drive towards becoming more environmentally-friendly.
The building already has a wheel, because it was a working flour mill until 1907, but the structure needs to be brought into the 21st century.
Peter Andrews, from social enterprise BWCE, said it was preparing a planning application for the changes, but was hopeful that it would go ahead without any problems.
He said: “We have been working with the hotel to take that wheel out and put in a modern, working one, which will generate electricity.
“We are investing around £150,000 in the project and the new wheel should provide a good proportion of the hotel’s electricity, which means it will be heading towards being one of the greenest hotels in Bath.”
Mr Andrews added that he hoped The Old Mill scheme would be the first of many along the River Avon.
He said: “We are looking at several sites along the river and trying to work with the council and the Environment Agency to identify other sites, because we see the river as a vast resource.”
If the project goes to plan, it is hoped the new water wheel could be up and running by the end of the summer or early autumn.
Katie Reeves, the hotel’s assistant manager, said all the staff were excited to see the finished result.
She said: “Hopefully it is going to be absolutely brilliant, because everything from the light bulbs up is going to be powered by the water wheel.
“It is all about going green.”