The only benefit taken into account in the financial model for Hexham River Hydro has been the operating income from generating and selling electricity. Benefits to the local ecology, benefits to the town and region and benefits to the planet have not been given a financial value and not been included in the investment appraisal calculations.
One of the original objectives for the scheme was: “To utilise the resulting income [from generating and selling electricity] to secure long-term funding for the low carbon and regeneration activities of the Hexham Community Partnership (HCP).” The decision to cease work as a standalone community project was taken because latest estimates of capital cost and operating profits strongly suggested that this single objective (with all its knock-on benefits to quality of living, employment, economic development etc) could not be met by the hydro scheme.
The benefits of the scheme for which no financial value has been estimated are set out in this section:
Hexham River Hydro, an energyshare project made possible by British Gas and supported by Carbon Leapfrog, Cooperative Enterprise Hub, Vattenfall and The Naturesave Trust