Site: Ashburton, Devon
Turbine: Archimedes Screw
Head: 4.5 metres
The River dart Country Park hydro scheme is located within the Dartmoor National Park. Western Renewable Energy (WRE), now Renewables First, was brought in by the site owner to carry out the feasibility work and design of this hydro scheme. It negotiated the consents to allow the turbine to be installed, pending a large fish testing program.
WRE were first consulted about the feasibility of the hydro scheme in 2005, and later linked up with control firm GP Electronics and local civil engineering company, Castleford Engineering. At the outset, the project was by no means straightforward. Some major issues to be worked around included:
- The scheme would be the first large grid connected hydro turbine in the UK, and hence no Environment Agency familiarity with the technology.
- The site is located on a sensitive salmonid river, hence the fish testing program.
- The site is located within the Dartmoor National Park.
- Additionally the site was very public and within an attractive area.
Once the project commenced, site access was good with easy control of the water in the leat. Excavation works were carried out with 7 tonne machinery from a local firm. All materials excavated were disposed of on site and reused. The concrete structure was poured in sections to reduce shuttering hire costs. This was delivered via conveyors to minimise handling requirements. The 50 kW Archimedes Screw was then crane lifted into position. Finally, the tailrace excavation was carried out last and the system was commissioned soon after.
Are you considering a hydropower project ?
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Once complete, you will understand the site potential and be guided through the next steps to develop your project. You can read more about hydropower in our Hydro Learning Centre.
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