Thursday, November 17, 2011

Further Proposed Hydroelectric Power on River Thames.

The Berkshire village of Streatley is about 8 miles (13 km) from Reading and 16 miles (26 km) from Oxford. It is located in the Goring Gap on the River Thames and is directly across the river from the village of Goring on Thames, in Oxfordshire. The two villages are connected by the Goring and Streatley Bridge with its adjacent lock and weir. The Goring Gap was cut through the chalk at the end of the last ice age by the large amounts of melt water entering the Thames. The newly formed route flows through Berkshire and London before finally egressing into the North Sea.

It is proposed to generate hydroelectric power from the River Thames at Goring and Streatley by the installation of 3 reverse Archimedes screws with a combined generating capacity of 246 kW. Some five million tonnes of water flows through the Goring Gap daily. There is nothing in the river as yet, since it has taken six years so far for the completion of all necessary feasibility studies, and to get various permissions from the Environment Agency. It was originally intended that the Swan Hotel would receive electricity from the installation but now the plan is to connect to a much closer sub-station on the Goring side of the river.

It is expected that the average annual power output will be 1000 Megawatt-hours, which is sufficient for the electricity needs of 350 homes. On the basis of four estimates for the construction phase and a firm price from Spaans-Babcock for the three 3.6 m diameter 4-flight screws, it appears that the project will cost at least £2 million.

The projected income is £165,000/annum for electricity sold onto the grid, according to an average annual rain-fall, mindful that this can vary by a factor of two between a "dry" year (1996) and a "wet" year (2007). It is intended that the commissioning and operation will take place from Autumn 2012 and beyond, and that the installation should generate clean renewable electricity for at least 50 years.

Another hydropower scheme of similar power-output is being mooted, this time at Abingdon, 5.5 miles south of Oxford.

As noted in a previous posting (, there are two other hydropower installations already generating electricity on the Thames, one at Mapledurham and a smaller one at Sonning.

Related Reading. ...and thanks to Dave Holt for providing some updated details which I have used here.

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