planningRichmond CouncilRiver

Hydropower scheme, decision soon

PlanningPlans for Britains biggest community hydropower scheme at Teddington Lock are continuing with more detailed analysis on any potential impact on the surrounding environment.

As with most large-scale developments though, the scheme is not without controversy – despite a LBRUT commissioned noise report that has determined that turbine noise levels will fall within residential limits, owners (originally supportive in principle) and members of the Lensbury Club have objected to the scheme because they believe it will affect noise in the grounds of the club/hotel and issued a rebuttal of the council’s findings. Also they have created their own mockups of the structure and believe they will be too intrusive and visible from the Lensbury grounds – this and the dimensions in the mockups are disputed by Ham Hydro group.

Ham Hydro is a community interest group established in 2010 to help generate clean, renewable energy from the Thames and the proposed scheme could generate enough electricity to power 600 homes. A 3D animation of the proposed structure has been created so you can see a clearer picture of what it will look like if given the go-ahead. If so, it will require an investment of £5 million, 40% of which is expected to be raised via selling shares.

The plans will be decided at a planning committee meeting mostly likely in October, in the meantime you can add your own comments via the planning application page.


0 thoughts on “Hydropower scheme, decision soon

  • Do the maths: £1.6m (which is what I thought Ham Hydro was budgeted to cost) spent as a subsidy on low energy LED lighting would save approx. 14.4MW – enough energy for over 17,000 homes.
    Now at £5m that starts to look like 45MW, 53,000 homes.
    Starting to look like a rather poor return.

  • Carbon saving of 1013 tonnes per annum (Ham Hydro figures), is the equivalent of 33 computers being switched off overnight, instead of being left on ‘standby’…

    Those concerned with river improvement and conservation need to understand the damage low head hydropower causes to riverine ecologies when the cumulative effects are totted up.

    It is a vanity project; it is not a credible ‘green’ energy resource and will serve few other than those closely connected with the project, through self aggrandisement.

    Don’t believe the hype, it’s a ‘pig in a poke’, go wind and solar, much safer and – by and large – environmentally sound.

    Please read the support and objections within the planning application page linked to within the article, it makes for interesting reading. Thereafter, either choose to support, or object.

  • Just on the ‘carbon savings’ claim, of the 1013 tonnes per annum, ask yourself this. How much carbon will be used to design and build the project? Cement production; to build the machinery; all the electricity used in the design and promotion of the project via IT resources; all the transportation used for the equipment etc. etc. etc.

    If, optimistically, the project prevented 40,520 tonnes of carbon being placed in the atmosphere over the entire time it was in use (40 years), how much carbon will it have placed into the atmosphere through the design and build process?

    So let’s see if Ham Hydro is prepared to give detailed figures concerning the carbon that has, and will be used, to potentially get this scheme operational. I very much doubt it will be in their interests to do so, they’ll just keep ‘hyping’ the project as a ‘clean’ energy source, which on balance it is not.

    Take a look here to see how you can really contribute as individuals to reduce your carbon output:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *