The finishing touches have been put to a new renewable energy scheme in the Lake District which will supply enough electricity for more than 100 homes.

The new 100KW hydroelectric scheme in the Greenburn valley, in Little Langdale, is the latest scheme completed by the National Trust and harnesses the fast-flowing water of Greenburn Beck.

It took over three years to complete from concept to commissioning and is expected to generate enough electricity to cover the needs of 150 homes each year.

The hydro turbine was built by Gilkes in Kendal, while the project’s electricians came from Carlisle and the main contractors, Ian Shaw, are based in Ulverston.

The slate for the roof of the powerhouse sheltering the turbine was recycled from houses demolished after Storm Desmond, while the stone from its walls came from nearby Moss Rigg Quarry and the stone used to build the intake came from the Grange peninsula.

John Moffat, general manager for the National Trust in the South Lakes, said: “By using water flowing down the hillside in Little Langdale, the hydro helps to reduce environmental impact by supplying clean, renewable energy year-round.

"At the moment all the electricity generated goes into the National Grid, and the money this earns is reinvested in our conservation work in the valley.”

The project sits on land managed by local fell farmer and tenant at Fell Foot farm, Isaac Benson.

As part of the project, National Trust and Fix the Fells rangers and volunteers carried out conservation work on the land to reduce soil erosion, make more habitats for wildlife and improve the water quality of Greenburn Beck.

Isaac said: “There were challenging conditions at the start of the project as it was one of the wettest summers on record but it ended in drought conditions the following year.

"Not only was it refreshing, but it was a pleasure to work with an individual from the main contractor as between us we had generations of managing the landscape to draw from. This resulted in a minimal amount of disruption to the working farm and wider environment.”

Greenburn is one of four operational National Trust hydro schemes in the Lake District, with seven more in various stages of planning.

The scheme is part of the trust’s bigger plan to reduce its use of fossil fuels by 50 per cent by 2021. Other renewable energy projects nearby include underfloor heating powered by biomass in Fell Foot’s new Active Base, another biomass system using local wood fuel to power Great Langdale campsite, and a recently completed project to install solar panels at the National Trust’s offices in Coniston.