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Renewables First Celebrates a Year of Achievements in 2016

Renewables First Celebrates a Year of Achievements in 2016
Pelton turbine - Renewables First

Pelton turbine runners, Gleann Dubhlinn, Harris – Renewables First..

2016 was a very productive year for Renewables First, playing a key role in a number high-profile hydropower schemes throughout the UK. Renewables First also played a key role in a wind power installation in mid-Wales. Furthermore, our sister company, GoFlo Screens, installed two GoFlo self-cleaning water intake screens on hydropower sites in England and Wales, The success of 2016 followed on from an equally busy year in 2015, which also saw the tail end of high-profile projects such as the Radyr Weir twin Archimedes screw scheme, owned by Cardiff City Council and the high-head Afon Gafr scheme at Nant Peris, Snowdonia.

Below is a brief overview of the projects with which we were involved in 2016. It includes only those projects that have proceeded through to the installation stage. There are other projects in the pipeline and details about these projects will be posted in due course as they proceed to installation in 2017. The project summaries below also include links to our Project Blog Home page for those wanting more detail.

Shenfield Mill 60 kW Archimedes Screw

Shenfield Mill hydro - Renewables First

Shenfield Mill Archimedes screw turbine.

Project Description: The Shenfield Mill Archimedes screw is located on the River Kennet, near Theale, Berkshire. The scheme is located on a weir that is used to maintain the navigation level upstream on the associated canal. The weir was also previously used to power a paper mill in the 19th Century, before the building was destroyed by fire. The 60 kW Archimedes screw turbine exploits a head of 2 metres and a mean flow of 5 cubic metres per second. This will supply enough power for the equivalent of 78 English homes. As part of the construction, the original Larinier fish pass on the weir was removed to make way for the Archimedes screw turbine. This has been replaced with a best practice artificial nature-like fish pass channel to allow fish to travel upstream and downstream.

Client: Shenfield Mill

Renewables First Role: Feasibility, Design and Installation.

Brondanw Estate 100 kW Turgo Turbine


Brondanw Estate: location of the Afon Maesgwm scheme.

Project Description: Located in the mountainous terrain of the Brondanw Estate, Snowdonia, this hydro scheme sits on the Afon Maesgwm and features a 100 kW Turgo turbine. This is a high head scheme, with a head of 128 metres between the water intake and the hydro turbine, with a mean flow of 0.12 cubic metres per second. The water intake utilises a Coanda screen (as is often the case with high head sites) to filter waterborne debris from entering the penstock pipe and travelling toward the turbine. The penstock pipe itself is 850 metres long and traverses fields, streams and tracks before delivering water to the turbine. The scheme was largely completed by the end of the year.

Client: Brondanw Estate, The Clough Williams Ellis Foundation.

Renewables First Role: Feasibility, Design and Installation.

Errwood & Fernilee 100 kW Francis Turbine

Hydro replacement project, Errwood Reservoir- Renewables First

Fernilee Reservoir, Derbyshire.

Project Description: This hydropower scheme makes use of the water transfer pipework between the higher Errwood and lower Fernilee Reservoirs in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire. The scheme involved installation of a 100 kW Francis turbine within the valve house located within the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoir embankment. The scheme is essentially a Replacement Project in which an aging and relatively inefficient 150 kW turbine (actually a pump working in reverse to generate electricity) installed back in the late 1980’s, was replaced with a much more efficient purpose-built 100 kW Francis turbine. The turbine exploits a 32 metre head and a mean flow of 0.4 cubic metres per second. As water is transferred from Errwood Reservoir to the lower Fernilee Reservoir, as part of water processing works, the turbine will generate power.

Client: United Utilities

Renewables First Role: Feasibility, Design and Installation.

Gleann Dubhlinn 100 kW Pelton Turbine

Gleann Dubhlinn hydro installation - Renewables First

100 kW Pelton turbine used at Gleann Dubhlinn, West Harris.

Project Description: Located on the western coast of Harris on the Outer Hebrides, this hydropower scheme comprises a 100 kW Pelton turbine and a Coanda water intake screen. Situated on moorland terrain, the turbine makes use of a 79 metre head, with a mean flow of 0.2 cubic metres per second.

Client: River Generation and the West Harris Trust.

Renewables First Role: Feasibility, Design and Installation.

Cochwillan 90 kW Crossflow Turbine

Cochwillan hydro - Renewables First

90 kW Crossflow turbine at Cochwillan.

Project Description: This hydropower scheme is located on the Afon Ogwen on the Penrhyn Estate, Cochwillan, North Wales. The scheme consists of a 90 kW Crossflow hydro turbine, exploiting a gross head of 8 metres and a mean flow of 1.6 cubic metres per second. The annual energy capture is calculated to be of the order of 487,283 kWh’s per year – roughly equivalent to powering 111 UK homes. The scheme is also calculated to produce an annual CO2e emissions saving of 243,642 kg’s.

Client: Penrhyn Hydro Ltd

Renewables First Role: Design, Specification and Installation.

Both the Cochwillan hydro scheme and another hydro scheme installed at Kenningstock in late 2015 (also by Renewables First) are equipped with innovative self-cleaning screens, designed, manufactured and installed by our sister company, GoFlo Screens.

Cochwillan GoFlo Self-cleaning Screens

SElf-cleaning water intake screens - Renewables First

GoFlo self-cleaning screen at Cochwillan hydro site, North Wales.

Project Description: Earlier in 2016, GoFlo Screens Ltd was commissioned to design, manufacture and install two self-cleaning water intake screens for the Cochwillan hydro project. The total screened area at this location is 13.5 m2. Each of the screens measure 1.5 metres in width (not counting the frame width) by 4.5 metres in length. The screens sit directly side by side and at the same angle and work in parallel with one another – essentially acting as one screen. GoFlo screens are designed to maintain maximum flow to the turbine, thus increasing output and income. They also considerably reduce screen maintenance time and help to meet stringent eel and fish screening regulations.

Client: Penrhyn Hydro Ltd

GoFlo Screens Role: Design, Specification, Manufacture and Installation.

Kenningstock GoFlo Self-cleaning Screens

Self-cleaning water intake screen - Renewables First

GoFlo self-cleaning screen at Kenningstock hydro site.

Project Description: The Kenningstock Mill hydropower scheme, installed by Renewables First, was recently retrofitted with a GoFlo self-cleaning water intake screen. As well considerably reducing maintenance time, the self-cleaning water intake screen will also optimise the rate of flow to the hydro turbine, thus increasing turbine output and income generation. The installation comprises one screen unit 1.1 metres wide by 3.4 metres in length. The screen is equipped with a fine mesh in order to protect fish and comply with environmental regulation, yet will also accommodate a maximum flow rate of 0.6 cubic metres per second. The unit screens water for a 25 kW Crossflow turbine installed by Renewables First.

Client: Robert Rice

GoFlo Screens Role: Design, Specification, Manufacture and Installation.

The wind power market in the UK has slowed significantly in 2016, a result of government policy. However, Renewables First played a key role in a wind power development in Wales.

Maesmedrisiol 100 kW Norvento Wind Turbine

Norvento wind turbine, Maesmedrisiol, Wales Renewables First

100 kW Norvento wind turbine.

Project Description: In this scheme Renewables First was hired by Norvento, the wind turbine manufacturer, to undertake the feasibility, design and consenting works for the installation of a 100 kW Norvento wind turbine in Maesmedrisiol, mid-Wales.

Client: Norvento

Renewables First Role: Feasibility, Design, Grid Connection and Planning Application.

As the year closes other new projects are at various stages of development and will fall into the construction phase throughout 2017. For more information about any of the projects mentioned above or other projects undertaken in previous years, visit our Project Blog Blog pages.




Are you considering a low carbon renewable energy project?

Renewables First have considerable experience and full project capability, from initial feasibility studies through to system design and installation for hydro, wind and water source heat pump systems.

Read more about renewable energy in our Hydro Learning Centre and Wind Learning Centre. Alternatively, contact us about a feasibility study today.

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