“We have been pleased to use the services of Renewables First to assist us in designing, building and installing a Hydro Generation plant on the River Yeo in North Somerset. Our property included the remains of an old Corn Mill, which was burned down in a fire in 1892. There was an existing leat, weir and sluice with the remnants of a waterwheel.
Renewables First (at the time Hydro Generation Ltd ) were requested in July 2005 to study our site and recommend a scheme which would produce the maximum amount of electricity from the most reliable equipment. They succeeded in getting a grant for the project of £2,000 from Clear Skies. Renewables First measured the flow and drop of water and calculated that we could develop approximately 9 kW at peak flow and gave us alternative suggestions for turbines and generators. These were Polymer, or Kaplan or Crossflow. A draft budget was provided .
Phil Davis, Director of Renewables First, surveyed our site and designed and drew up detailed plans for a new turbine hydro generation scheme. We decided to install an Ossberger crossflow turbine with a Brook Compton generator. We also installed a Sustainable Control Systems controller and water level sensors. As a side project we repaired and reinstalled the ancient water wheel.
At an early stage, Renewables First , began negotiating with the Environment Agency to obtain licences for abstraction, drainage and impoundment of river water. This was an arduous and pedantic process and took 18 months to obtain the licences and permission to work on the river. They assisted us in obtaining Planning Permission from the Planning Authority which included an ecological survey and a flood plain assessment.
We commenced construction with a very skilled civil engineering company who were practical artisans, skilled in using excavating equipment, and building natural stone walling. They are Pearce Waterscapes of Cleeve, North Somerset. The construction was from March to October 2008 and commissioning was in November.
We decided to export excess electricity to the Grid and Renewables First assisted us with getting Western Power Distribution approval, appointment of an Agent – Ecotricity of Stroud, who obtained OFGEM registration and subsequently FITs licence.
The project was finalised within the budget proposed. The Hydro Generation Unit is producing the forecast amount of electricity which provides savings by reducing our import and an income for our production of electricity.”
We recommend Renewables First.
Kenn and Jackie Lloyd,
Iwood Manor Mill, Wrington