A “magnificent” new hydro-electric power scheme has been officially opened on the Bolton Abbey estate.

The system, at Harry’s Dam, near Thruscross, is the result of a two-year installation by Norman Wheat, engineer and project manager for Thruscross Energy.

It is expected to produce 38,000 kilowatt hours efficiently, which equates to powering 12 average houses and saving 750 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 20 years.

Bolton Abbey estate’s owners, the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Peregrine and Amanda Cavendish, were full of praise for the project.

The Duke hailed it as “a magnificent local achievement, entirely thanks to local community co-operation in which everybody should be immensely proud.

“It is perhaps an example many other communities should follow.”

Mr Wheat went to great pains, even going so far as to build a bespoke turbine with the help of Guiseley Engineering.

The turbine house has been constructed from local stone, in the style of an adjacent barn, to blend in with the countryside.

The estate has granted a 20-year lease on the 1.5-hectare redundant mill dam and reservoir site to assure the scheme’s long-term future.