Hundreds of homes could soon run on renewable electricity after the Environment Agency (EA) announced it was looking for a developer to create a sustainable hydropower scheme at Teddington Weir.

Not-for-profit company Ham Hydro – closely associated with Ham United Group (Hug) – is in the process of applying to the EA to take the reins of the project, which eco chiefs claim will result in about 500 households in Ham benefitting from clean, renewable electricity.

Central to the bid is its proposal to redistribute all the profits from the scheme into low carbon, community projects – creating jobs and improving community cohesion.

The scheme would involve constructing Archimedes screws on the weir, where the motion of the screw would be reversed to generate power.

The screw is an ancient technology that has been used for centuries to draw water out of the ground and the latest design is environmentally friendly, as it allows fish to pass through the turbines.

Project managers James Heather and Chas Warlow believe they are putting forward a “very strong” bid to the EA.

Mr Warlow said: “It is incredible how much support we have received from the local and wider community.

“People are particular pleased to know the profit generated from our scheme will go into further low carbon projects in the community.”

Hug first started looking into small-scale power generation in February 2007 and some of its members went on to form Ham Hydro as the vehicle to take the project forward.

The company has won support from Richmond Council and community and environmental groups.

Teddington was named alongside Bell, near Egham, and Sunbury, as sites of high potential for future hydropower development.

Tim Reeder, EA Thames region climate change programme manager, said: “The EA is keen to ensure hydropower fulfils its potential as a small but useful renewable energy source whilst protecting the environment.

“We hope that by offering these further sites for development we can facilitate the delivery of a suite of pilot projects within the Thames region from which green electricity will be produced and lessons as to future developments can be learned.”

Ham Hydro’s outline proposal for the Teddington site is due to be considered by the EA over the coming months with a preferred developer being chosen by the end of May.