News

Landscaping is go!

If you’ve wandered along the river recently you might have noticed a buzz of activity at the hydro.  After many years in the planning, we are finally completing the landscaping!  Our contractors Nicholson’s are on site, levelling the ground, sealing gravel, laying the foundation for the beautiful human sundial mosaic and preparing the tiling.

Setting out the base for the mosaic

Setting out the base for the mosaic

Six years on…

What a different six years makes!  On the 8th November 2016 a team of local volunteers made short work of planting hedging plants along the boundary of the site.

The plants were donated by the Woodland Trust as part of The First World War Centenary Woods project to plant millions of native trees to commemorate the First World War.

From those tiny little sticks, we now have a well established hedge with a mix of Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Dog Rose and Dogwood boosting local biodiversity.

doubleHedge

 

Spotlight on Osney Lock Hydro in run up to COP26

The hydro has been receiving increased attention in recent days, as the country gears up to COP26, taking place in Glasgow later this month.

We were chosen as one of the exemplary community energy case studies as part of a nationwide spot light on community energy projects.  You can read our story, and that of the very many other inspirational projects around the country at the Carbon Copy website. 
Today, we were also featured in a news item on BBC South Today, highlighting a local BBC radio pledge campaign.

Rain clouds have a silver lining

One upside of the recent heavy rains is that we’ve been generating over recent days – a far earlier start to the autumn generation season than usual. We’ll see in the next few days if the rain has filled the aquifers and rivers or if this is just a temporary bonus.

The red line shows our generation levels over the last 24 hours

Welcoming the curious minded to Open Doors

It was open_doors_2021_reedsso wonderful to welcome so many people through the gates at Oxford Open Doors this afternoon.  Once again we were blown away by the curiosity and interest show by visitors of all ages.
In total we welcomed 158 visitors onto the site of all ages.

A huge thank you to Neville, Ag and Jean, who manned the gate and supported our volunteer Directors Ruth, Barbara and Saskya as they answered 101 questions about the hydro, fish pass, community energy and the history of the project. open_doors_2021_2

 

 

 

All ready for Sunday’s Open Doors

We’re all set up for this year’s Oxford Open Doors this Sunday between 2pm and 5pm. We still have availability for some times slots tomorrow afternoon.  A huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard get the site in tip top condition.

Details of how to book your free tickets below.

IMG_0274

How do I book?

Tickets are free, but limited and booking is essential.  Please arrive within in 10 minutes of the start of your booked slot to help us manage numbers on site.

Click here to book your free ticket via eventbrite

How do I get there?

Osney Island is just a few minutes walk from Oxford train station and bus stops on the Botley Road. If travelling by car, please use the Park and Ride and take the bus to the Osney Island stop. You can see our position on a map on our website.

Accessibility

The tour involves walking a few 100 metres along the towpath and over rough grass. Access to the main site is via the towpath and is step-free. If you have any hearing, visibility or mobiity impairment, please contact the organisers in advance so we can understand how we can best facilitate your visit.

Social distancing

For the safety of our visitors we are restricting the number of visitors to the site and regret we will not be able to open up the power house or walkway. We ask that all visitors to the site respect social distancing guidelines at all times. To reduce ‘touch points’ on the site we will not be providing leaflets this year, but you can download a copy here: OLH information leaflet

Trace and trace register

To support the NHS track and trace register we will be retaining details of the lead member of a booking group for 21 days after the event. 

Facilities on site

Please note there are no toilets on site.

What if I can no longer attend?

We only have a limited number of places on each tour so please let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend.

How do I contact the organisers?

Please email us via the contacts page

 

Book your free ticket for Oxford Open Doors

Osney Lock Hydro is taking part in this year’s Oxford Open Doors on the afternoon of Sunday 12th September.

FAQs

How do I book?

Tickets are free, but limited and booking is essential.  Please arrive within in 10 minutes of the start of your booked slot to help us manage numbers on site.

Click here to book your free ticket via eventbrite

How do I get there?

Osney Island is just a few minutes walk from Oxford train station and bus stops on the Botley Road. If travelling by car, please use the Park and Ride and take the bus to the Osney Island stop. You can see our position on a map on our website.

Accessibility

The tour involves walking a few 100 metres along the towpath and over rough grass. Access to the main site is via the towpath and is step-free. If you have any hearing, visibility or mobiity impairment, please contact the organisers in advance so we can understand how we can best facilitate your visit.

Social distancing

For the safety of our visitors we are restricting the number of visitors to the site and regret we will not be able to open up the power house or walkway. We ask that all visitors to the site respect social distancing guidelines at all times. To reduce ‘touch points’ on the site we will not be providing leaflets this year, but you can download a copy here: OLH information leaflet

Trace and trace register

To support the NHS track and trace register we will be retaining details of the lead member of a booking group for 21 days after the event. 

Facilities on site

Please note there are no toilets on site.

What if I can no longer attend?

We only have a limited number of places on each tour so please let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend.

How do I contact the organisers?

Please email us via the contacts page

Hydro generation season ends

The hydro finally stopped its Spring generation season today, just a few days short of our latest ever recorded generation date.  Its been a great first quarter (April-July) with over 97,000 kWh generated.

As usual, the hydro is anticipated to be off until mid Autumn, although we are still generating clean, green electricity, thanks to the solar array on the powerhouse.

Inside the powerhouse

Inside the powerhouse – hydro and solar in action

 

Oxford Open Doors 2021

Osney Lock Hydro is taking part in this year’s Oxford Open Doors on the afternoon of Sunday 12th September.

Situated next to Osney Lock in the heart of Oxford, Osney Lock Hydro is the first community owned hydro built on the Thames. The hydro uses a reverse Archimedean screw to turn the power of the river into electricity. The roof of the building also incorporates transparent solar panels, maximising the generation capacity of the site. In total, our predicted annual generation is 186,000 kWh – equivalent to the power used by around 56 homes.

Plans for the project first started in 2002, when a survey of the local community showed strong support for the scheme. After years of planning and fundraising, the hydro scheme finally started generating electricity in the Spring of 2015. The hydro design also includes a fish pass, making this section of the river freely passable to fish for the first time in two centuries.

Osney Lock Hydro is an entirely voluntary run organisation and is owned by its 200 Members, who between them invested £640,000 to build the generation project.

Profits from the scheme will be used to support further local environmental projects. In total we hope to provide over £2 million support during the lifetime of the project.

Looking forward, we would like to use the hydro platform from which to tell the story of our river, from which people can learn about renewable energy generation and explore the social and industrial heritage of our community.

The site is currently open to visitors by appointment only. Please note that the site has uneven surfaces and is close to water. Children are welcome to attend but must be under the close supervision of an adult. 

FAQs

How do I book?

Tickets are free, but limited and booking is essential.  Please arrive within in 10 minutes of the start of your booked slot to help us manage numbers on site.

How do I get there?

Osney Island is just a few minutes walk from Oxford train station and bus stops on the Botley Road. If travelling by car, please use the Park and Ride and take the bus to the Osney Island stop. You can see our position on a map on our website.

Accessibility

The tour involves walking a few 100 metres along the towpath and over rough grass. Access to the main site is via the towpath and is step-free. If you have any hearing, visibility or mobiity impairment, please contact the organisers in advance so we can understand how we can best facilitate your visit.

Social distancing

For the safety of our visitors we are restricting the number of visitors to the site and regret we will not be able to open up the power house or walkway. We ask that all visitors to the site respect social distancing guidelines at all times. To reduce ‘touch points’ on the site we will not be providing leaflets this year, but you can download a copy here: OLH information leaflet

Trace and trace register

To support the NHS track and trace register we will be retaining details of the lead member of a booking group for 21 days after the event. 

Facilities on site

Please note there are no toilets on site.

What if I can no longer attend?

We only have a limited number of places on each tour so please let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend.

How do I contact the organisers?

Please email us via the contacts page

1 GWh generation hit!

Earlier this morning our lifetime generation for the hydro reached the 1 GWh mark.

The recent rains have given us a good start to the new financial year, with over 60,000 kWh generated since 1st April, and at time of writing the hydro is generating at a steady 46kWh, not far off its top generation output.