Community hydro scheme holds 'topping out' ceremony

A community-led hydroelectric power scheme is celebrating after the first phase of the project was completed. A ‘topping out’ ceremony is being held at Osney Lock (pictured, during construction) in […]

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A community-led hydroelectric power scheme is celebrating after the first phase of the project was completed.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony is being held at Osney Lock (pictured, during construction) in Oxford today.

When it starts generating electricity in early 2014, the 49KW site will provide enough clean power for 60 homes – 159,000 kWh each year. It is expected to earn £2 million over its 40-year lifetime, with the money being pumped back into other energy projects in the community.

It is said to be the first such project on the Thames and has been built using an agreement between the local community and the Environment Agency.

The deal enabled Osney Lock Hydro Limited to do work on behalf of the Environment Agency – repairing one weir and replacing another, whilst at the same time installing the hydroelectric generation. It meant the work could be done quicker, cheaper and with less disruption to local residents.

Howard Davidson, South East Regional Director for the Environment Agency said: “We are really pleased with the way the partnership with the community has gone on this project. The work has been delivered to a very high standard and it is a real pleasure to come to Osney to celebrate this great outcome.”