Storm Doris has been keeping us busy here at Osney Lock Hydro, filling the river with twigs and leaves which are then finding their way into the trash screen.
Throughout the autumn and winter, our team of volunteers visit the hydro daily and remove any debris from the trash screen which prevents items entering into the hydro. Usually this is nothing more than a twig or two, although we’ve also found black sacks, buckets, logs and on one occasion, a leek.
However, the recent strong winds have brought down large quantities twigs into the river, and we’ll be working over the weekend to remove the build up and clear the trash screen.
Osney Lock Hydro is entirely volunteer run. If you’d like to join our team in a regular, or ad hoc role, do let us know.
Clearing up after ‘Doris’
We are delighted to be able to report that we reached our annual generation target of 179,000kWh earlier today.
With current river conditions, we anticipate generation will continue over the six weeks to financial year-end, increasing our generation total for the year.
If you’d like to keep up-to-date with the latest generation figures, then keep your eye on our performance page on the website which we regularly update.
We had a great generation first quarter of the financial year (Apr-June) and kept generating until mid-August. We then had a long dry period and did not start generating again until mid-November. September and October were the driest start to Autumn since 1951.
We have had a great run over the last few weeks because generating conditions have been just about perfect – just enough rain at just the right intervals to maintain the head around the optimum of 1.7m – with lots of foggy, murky nights to stop the water level falling too fast. The water has also been very clean and clear, so trash screen clearance has been much easier so far this year than it was last year. It would be very good for us if these conditions continued into the New Year and we saved the Atlantic storms until around Easter to give us a good boost of water going into the summer period. Unlikely – but we can hope!
Generation is now at 124,513kWh this financial year or 66% of total forecast average for the whole year.
The recent rains mark the start of our winter generation period. As a result we have just reached the 200,000 kWh generation mark.
Osney Lock Hydro – Harnessing the power of our river
We will be giving a talk about the hydro at Low Carbon West Oxford’s next open meeting and do hope you can join us.
Weds 12 October, 7.30pm at West Oxford Community Primary School (Canteen)
Come and find out how West Oxford has become home to the first community- owned and volunteer-run hydro scheme on the Thames! Hear the story of its creation, learn about its day-to-day management and how you can get involved in its future.
Speakers from the Directors of Osney Lock Hydro and the Environment Agency.
We were delighted to open our doors to visitors as part of the Oxford Open Doors and Community Energy Fortnight events last Sunday. All the tours were fully booked and it was great to see such enthusiasm for the project, and hear your questions.
Welcoming visitors for Oxford Open Doors.
To celebrate Community Energy Fortnight and Oxford Open Doors we will be running guided tours on the afternoon of Sunday 11th September.
Tickets are free but booking is essential. You can book on line here
It has been an excellent few months for generation at Osney Lock Hydro, with 82,549 kWh electricity generated over the first three months of our financial year, equating to 46% of our annual mid-range target.
Because of variability in river flows year on year, our estimated annual output is modelled using several years of flow data. In any one year, generation can be expected to fall within a range between 50% and 150% of the target figure. Last year we achieved 80% of the 179,000kWh target.
The rain may has made for a dismal start to the summer, but has enabled us to generated far longer into summer season than last year’s dry conditions. Generation is likely to slow down as river flows drop, however with current river conditions we still anticipate generation to continue for some time.
Osney Lock Hydro is the starting point for a for a magical tour around Oxfordshire to explore some of the County’s green energy gems. We’ll be unlocking the mystery behind what happens to our food waste and peeking inside the the first community owned hydro scheme on the Thames. We’ll also explore the UK’s largest community owned solar park and first community owned wind farm in the South of England.
The tour starts and ends at Osney Island, Oxford and includes free transport thanks to the generous support of Oxford Bus Company. Places are free but with limited places booking is essential.
You can book your place here
Green Magical Mystery Tour tickets