Hydroelectricity from Teddington Lock 2

Teddington Lock HydroElectric Scheme

Teddington Lock Hydroelectric Scheme. The top shows an artists impression of the system in place and the lower part shows a plan view of the weir. Click for larger image.

After my piece last week on HamHydro I got a very nice comment from James Heather about how in fact all the data was available on the web at http://www.hamhydro.org. And lots of it is – see my composite above. I have reproduced James’ comments below because they are very long and I am sure no one will read them as a comment to the previous article. James comments made me wonder if I had been over critical in my previous article and I spent the week feeling bad but I didn’t have a chance to update the blog until now – and its now gone midnight on Sunday!

Basically I was frustrated because I couldn’t find out even basic figures for the scheme. I have now got to the root of this. Searching for ‘Ham Hydro’ or ‘HamHydro’ currently does not return the above web link on the front page of Google. In my world, that means the page doesn’t functionally exist on the web. If you are running a project and you are not on the first page of  Google then IMHO, you need to do something about it. By adding a link to their page and not to the other junk news stories I am doing my bit here. Maybe if everyone clicks on the link then Google will somehow sort itself out.

James Heather’s comment

Hi Michael,

My name is James Heather and I am a director of Ham Hydro CIC and also the project manager. First I would like to thank you for joining our energy share group as a supporter and for wishing us well in your blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to briefly address some of the points you have raised although if you (or any of your readers) would like further information please get in touch with us via info@hamhydro.org or our websitehttp://www.hamhydro.org.

First we are not looking for the public to invest £2.4M. We are planning to borrow money from the bank and the share issue you are referring to will be for a much smaller amount. Since the banks will be providing a large amount of capital we have entered into detailed negotiations with them and provided equally detailed information about the project to them. When the time comes that we are ready to approach the public about the idea of a share issue we will issue a comprehensive prospectus which will enable any potential investors to make an informed decision about whether our project is a suitable investment for them.

In the mean time we have provided information to the public which is designed to generate interest in the scheme and develop an awareness about what we are undertaking. We have always made ourselves available to anyone who was interested in gaining greater knowledge regarding the project via email, phone or at our office. As you will know from the extensive local press coverage and over 12 pages of google articles about Ham Hydro there is a lot of information available for anyone who is interested.

In addition to using press releases, the internet and our website we have given to presentations to many local groups and societies and are already scheduled to give many more. We have had a stand at most of the large summer fairs including the Richmond and Ham Fair. We have also held a well publicised (via local papers, community groups, emails, schools and a poster campaign) public meeting at which we both presented a wealth of information and answered all questions the public had. We also took the opportunity to talk about the range of studies we have undertaken including Environmental Impact Assesments, Flood Risk Analysis and Fish Studies.

We completely agree with you that this project represents an opportunity to raise consciousness of energy generation issues in schools and the community. In a fact we believe it provides a good platform to teach about sustainability in general along with the obvious focus on renewable energy. As such I have visited local schools and talked to them about potential projects. This has been met with much interest and several ideas are being developed. One school is looking at building a model of the scheme and studying how varying flow affects electricity production and other schools are looking at how the project could form the basis for coursework projects. We have also talked with the local universities and colleges and were happy to provide data to them for undergraduate projects. We have used the scheme as a reason to talk to schools about their energy usage and possible ways to reduce wastage. We have also tied up with the Ham and Petersham Low Carbon Zone as we feel both schemes are complimentary to aid their efforts to encourage lifestyle changes and implementation of energy saving measures in people’s homes.

Thanks again for your support. Please do email us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,
James

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9 Responses to “Hydroelectricity from Teddington Lock 2”

  1. Ed Says:

    You shouldn’t feel guilty about your previous blog entry, the project needs to provide information to justify itself.

    James Heather’s standard response to any environmental questions about how they might affect the weir is “go search on the web” which is frankly unsatisfactory, contarary to common perception hydropower is NOT free, everything has an impact at some level. This is why a number of groups such as the Thames Anglers’ Conservancy are demanding nothing less than a weir pool habitat study and full independent environmental impact assessment before this project is allowed to proceed.

    Today I discovered this on-line book which looks exposes the myths and truths behind the sustainable energy bandwagon: “Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air” by David Mackay, it is available as a free electronic download, from: http://www.withouthotair.com/

    • protonsforbreakfast Says:

      Ed

      Thanks for your comment. Yes David Mackay’s book is splendid – its even worth buying!

      I agree with you that the scheme will definitely affect the weir pool at some extent, but I can’t think of any reason for particular alarm. The flow into the pool will be maintained.

      What effect do you think the scheme could have?

  2. Ed Says:

    I have no idea what effect it will have. I’ll have a stab at a guess though I don’t think that’s we do here on PFB. The water will necessarily lose some energy having passed through the turbines, this could affect the overall oxygen levels. Flows may be changed around from the current status quo as the hydro operators will necessarily require that most flow passes through their end of the weir rather than the whole of the structure as at present, this may alter things underwater.

    The problem is that no-one knows the precise nature of the habitat, what flora and fauna are in there. A comprehensive study has never been done. If the scheme goes ahead without carrying one out, no-one ever will know, either!

  3. Dave Says:

    Very interesting blog and comments so far. Have seen today that the Environment Agency have released their Consultation on the review of Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines. This can only be good news. Pressure from the Angling Trust has forced a review and on an initial read it is very comprehensive.

  4. Andres Says:

    Dave could you provide a link to that review/report?

    Micael: hamhydro is a cic and is not swimming in money. the web page is new and it costs a lot of money and clicking to get the first of the list. and even then it depends of the search habits of each individual. i find it a bit of an unfair comment.

    as for the oxygen in water the contractor was at the greycourt school meeting and he did give numbers. i don’t have my notes with me but it seemed very reasonable.

    • protonsforbreakfast Says:

      Andres

      1. You made a video about the project and at the end somebody holds up a placard with the wrong web site on it!
      2. None of the other web sites contain links to the correct site!
      3. Even the EnergyShare web site has the wrong link!
      4. Web sites do not cost a lot of money. This one costs me nothing! I pay $15 for use of the domain name.

      It’s not rocket science. I don’t know what a ‘cic’ but if you are asking for millions of pounds of funding from your fellow citizens or banks then I think it is worthwhile to try to convince people that you are borderline technically competent. If you can’t make your main web site known to someone as eager to read about as myself, then frankly, I doubt your group’s competence.

      Michael

      P.S. I know nothing about the oxygen in water issue.

  5. Ed Says:

    I was the person who asked the question about oxygen content in the water at the Gery Court School meeting, and the answer that the expert gave (I’m sorry but his name slipped me) was that he could not state specific numbers but it would probably decrease, although he thought only slightly.
    You can hear this on a very poor quality recording of the meeting which is on YouTube – search for “Ham Hyrdro”.

  6. Dave Says:

    The disolved oxygen levels or DO are one of the key indicators of the rivers health, same goes for any body of water. As a specific example, on 6th June when a major pollution incident hit the tidal Thames , the DO crashed because of the high level of nutrients going in. Below 30% is dangerous, on the morning of 7th June it was recored at 9.5%. The problem was further excaserbated as little water was coming over Teddington weir after a sustained dry period.

  7. Dave Says:

    Here is a link from the EA about DO on the tideway,
    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/publications/116073.aspx

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