After the occasional few hours of operation over the past month, the recent rains have filled the river and the winter generation season has started in earnest. The trash screen team are being kept busy, keeping the hydro free of branches and leaves, to ensure optimal flows.
A splash of autumnal colour on the river bank
We were delighted to welcome almost 200 visitors to the hydro this Sunday when we opened our gates as part of the Oxford Open Doors weekend.
During our two hour event 198 people took the opportunity to get on site and see the hydro close to. As well also local residents, we were delighted to welcome visitors from across the County and as far afield as the United States.
Although we had been able to offer a limited number of guided tours in the past, this was the first time we were able to open up the site to all comers as part of the event. This was in part thanks to a grant from Westmill Solar towards the final section of ballastrading to secure the river edge.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit – and to the volunteers who were on hand to welcome visitors and answer their questions.
Opening the gates for Open Doors 2019
We’re taking part in Oxford Open Doors ! Organised by Oxford Preservation Trust and the University of Oxford it’s a weekend when we celebrate the city – its places, spaces and, most of all, its people.
We’re opening our doors (or more accurately – gate) 2-4pm on Sunday 9th September. No need to book – just pop on by to meet with the volunteer team who run the hydro and a peek into the powerhouse.
The new financial year has got off to a flying start, with more than 50,000 kWh being generated in the first six weeks and bringing total generation to the half a million kWh mark.
It’s great to see the hydro consistently generating near maximum output for significant periods of time, making the most of the river conditions. It’s been a good start to new financial year, and a contrast to last year’s dry conditions, which saw annual output at the lower end of our anticipated annual range.
Keep your eyes open for Osney Lock Hydro on your telly this autumn. We were delighted to host a film crew making a series looking at the Thames from source to sea. As well as sharing the story of the project, we got the presenter hard at work cleaning the trash screen for us. Watch out for the series to see if who he was and if he had a cunning plan for removing debris from the front of the screen.
We were delighted to welcome delegates from the Oxford Climate Change Conference down to the hydro for a tour.
The conference brought together towns and cities across the UK and the rest of Europe who are committed to tackling climate change. Its aim was to strengthen our understanding of the issues, our support for each other and our effectiveness in combatting global warming.
It was great to be able to share our story with people from across Europe.
Photo credit: Martin Stott
One of the benefits of being part of the maintenance team is getting to see the river in its ever changing moods. This morning was no exception with mist rising of the river on a frosty morning. If you’d like to get involved, do get in touch or sign up to join our ‘maintenance flash mob’
With the experience of three autumns of generation under our belts, we are discovering that there are brief periods in the year when we need extra hands to help us keep the trash screen clear. If you are happy to join our hydro ‘flash mob’ please sign up here.
There is no commitment beyond being happy to receive the very occasional email to see if you can help. Helping will usually involve half an hour of your time either first thing or lunchtime, usually acting as ‘banksperson’ for one of our regular trash screen clearance team.
Trash screen clearing makes an excellent post Christmas work out.
We were delighted to welcome students from Nantes Lycée Livet to the hydro on 21 December. The group of 16 students and teachers were our final guided tour of the year, which has seen our volunteer guides share the story of the hydro with over 200 visitors as part of the 20+ free guided tours we have conducted this year.
As well as the ever popular Oxford Open Doors tours, we hosted a number of successful tours as part of the Low Carbon West Oxford 10th Anniversary celebrations. We were also thrilled to host our first primary school trip, and a number of other bespoke tours for a number of clubs, students and councils.
Our 2018 tour programme starts up again on January 23 – you can book your free place via our guided tours page.