Please see the front page for our most recent update.
Building on Hexham River Hydro’s earlier briefings, public meetings in the autumn have ensured that views have been aired and everyone has had an opportunity to shape the scheme and advise on the best way forward. We are grateful to the volunteers who, following our public meeting, have developed inspirational proposals for visitors and local people to learn about hydro power and the wildlife/ecology of the river. We are now digesting our Consultants detailed design proposals for Hexham River Hydro and are confident that we will be able to move forward based upon the very best advice, locally and nationally. For more information follow our blog update http://www.energyshare.com/hrh/blogs/
Getting Feedback: Strong calls for support were heard at a well attended public meeting on October 3rd, convened to share the preliminary conclusions drawn by consultants engaged to advise on the best way forward for Hexham River Hydro, with congratulations to the project team who have ensured that everyone’s views are listened to and everyone has an opportunity to shape the scheme.
The consultant team, led by Damien Dungworth of Cundall engineering and including Mannpower Ltd, the hydrologists that introduced Archimedes screw technology to this country, received a round of applause for their advice and presentations.
The team was joined the evening before by their second sub contractor Fishtek at a meeting convened to focus in particularly on the fisheries aspects raised by the scheme. The consultants’ advice was robustly debated and although the strong concerns expressed by many anglers clearly remain, a few said that their minds were not fully made up.
Bob Hull, Chair of HCP reflecting on both evenings commented that ‘the best hydro schemes can both improve the river environment and harness water power. The river Tyne at Hexham is degraded and so works must be carried out to address this and improve the quality of the river. This explains why a Hydro proposal combined with a fish pass is proposed. We will also carry out monitoring. In times of restricted public funding innovative solutions must be found by the community and we are keen to play our part.
Gillian Orrell, Transition Tynedale added ‘‘The iconic River Tyne must continue to work for all its many communities. I believe that we have introduced some timely new thinking and have ensured we've brought in the very best advice, locally and nationally, to design the proposed solution. We are so grateful to everyone who has given up their time to share advice, views and concerns.
As promised we now have a date for a public meeting Wednesday October 3rd 2012 at 7 pm at Tynedale Farmer Function Suite, Hexham Mart, Tyne Green, Hexham NE46 3SG. Come along and hear our latest update and help our consultants to finalise our ambitious plans. We'll also have some information available about investing in Community Shares to help fund the project.
A multi-talented consultant team is now in place to design and fully assess the impact of our scheme. Against strong national competition, it was the North East’s regional talent that won the day. Cundall Johnston & Partners LLP trading as Cundall, an international multi-disciplinary Engineering consultancy whose head office is in Newcastle is leading the team. They are being assisted by Mann Power Consulting Ltd, Fishtek Consulting and Ruth Hadden, Ryal Soil and Ecology. Have a look at our front page Profile and Blog for more details. Keep in touch too to find out how you can help our consultants to shape the scheme later in the summer
Following our success in the Energyshare bid we are pleased to be in a position to invite
expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced organisations to tender
for the detailed design (including all relevant environmental work), planning and licensing
for a 100kW low head hydro-electric scheme at Hexham Bridge, Hexham, Northumberland.
To find out more please visit http://www.hexhamcommunity.net/pages/projects/hexham-river-hydro/hrh---find-out-more.php.
Thanks again to all of our supporters for helping us move on to this stage in our project.
Great news! We’re thrilled to be able to announce that Hexham River Hydro has been shortlisted for the final round of the energyshare competition. The winners of this final round will be decided by online voting, which commences later this month. We’ve been delighted by the level of public support we’re already received for our project. If we can maintain that level of support, we’ve got an excellent chance of securing energyshare funding, which we plan to use for vital expenditure including detailed design and environmental monitoring to make sure our scheme has minimal impact on wildlife. So if you’ve supported us in the past, please make sure you vote for us again, and please try to recruit more supporters for our exciting project.
We’ll be back in touch soon.
Hexham River Hydro
Here are some of the things we've achieved in August, September and first half October:
1. Our full application for Energyshare funding is in!
2. We’ve successfully gained grant funding from Vattenfall (£7,500) and secured access to pro bono professional support from Carbon Leapfrog and CO2Sense:
- “Carbon Leapfrog, a charity that supports excellent carbon reduction initiatives through channelling high value professional advice – for free from leading service providers across a range of disciplines, is delighted to work with the Hexham River Hydro project.”
- “CO2Sense is a not-for-profit environmental consultancy offering financial support for low carbon projects. CO2Sense hope to be able to offer further support to Hexham River Hydro, in an advisory, technical or financial role.”
3. We’ve put a summary of the feasibility study conducted for us by Inter Hydro Technology, Kendal, on the Hexham Community Partnership website. It recommends two possible schemes, and we’re currently doing more detailed design work on both options.
4. We’ve been holding extensive consultations with stakeholders on these two alternative design options. We’ve sent letters to local civic, conservation, watersports and angling associations, and held two public drop-in sessions at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham. The vast majority of responses have been favourable, though concerns have been expressed by angling organisations about protection of migrating fish (which we expected and are taking into account in our design).
5. We’ve held discussions with both the Environment Agency and Tyne Rivers Trust (an independent environmental charity dedicated to managing and improving the Tyne catchment area) on a number of items, particularly to ensure that our proposed turbine leaves adequate flow in the river for both existing and proposed fish passes.
6. We’ve written a full business case for the project, which we’ll be presenting soon to senior management at Northumberland County Council.
7. We’re in the process of setting up a Community Benefit Society (a cooperative not-for-profit organization controlled by individual shareholders) to manage our hydro scheme once it’s up and running. We’re hoping that many of you will wish to buy shares when they become available.