There was celebration at Berkshire, England's Reading Hydro Community Benefit Society as the town’s new hydroelectricity scheme, powered by the flow of the River Thames, was finally switched on. This £1.2 million project has been entirely volunteer-led and realized, and will generate 320 megawatt hours of clean electricity per year. The amount of community cohesion, awareness, friendship, and skill-sharing it has generated is just as powerful. Most of the £1.2 million came from around 750 shareholders, mainly local individual investors, who will gradually have their capital returned to them, with interest. Surplus income will be made available as grants for other local, eco-friendly projects. Its slogan: “This energy is by the people, for the people.”

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