Sandford hydro archimedes screws arrive

Wonderful to see the archimedes screws arrive downstream for the community-owned hydro being developed at Sandford-on-Thames.  The project will incorporate three screws and will generate a whopping 1600 MWh a year – enough for 450 households.

You can also see the moment they first arrived in the village yesterday here

You can keep up to date with their progress here.

The Sandford hydro team with the three achimedean screws

The Sandford hydro team with the three achimedean screws

Generation hits 300,000 kWh

With good generating conditions continuing on the river, we reached the 300,000 kWh generation point just before 9pm tonight.

FIT Meter clocks up another 100,000 kWh

FIT Meter clocks up another 100,000 kWh

This brings the generation for this current financial year to date to 201,682kWh or 112% of our full 12 months annual target.  Our financial year ends at the end of the month, so we hope to continue to see our annual target rise over the next few days.

Our continued thanks to our team of volunteers who visit the site every day to help keep the trash screen clear of debris. Keeping the mouth of the hydro clear helps ensure a maximum ‘head height’ at the hydro. This refers to the distance the water falls at the site. The larger the distance, the more power is generated.

Most of the debris comprises of twigs and leaves. However over the season the team has also fished out a flower pots, a bucket, plastic sheeting and fencing – and a leek.

Storm Doris keeps us busy

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'

Clearing up after ‘Doris’



Gibbs Crescent explosion

A large explosion occurred downstream from Osney Lock Hydro yesterday at Gibbs Crescent. The hydro is some way from the site of the blast and our initial inspection has not revealed any damage to the hydro or powerhouse.  Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the explosion.

Generation target for financial year hit

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.

Generation round up for Quarters 1 to 3

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.

Open meeting 12th October

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.

Oxford Open Doors success

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.

Welcoming visitors for Oxford Open Doors.