The directors of the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative (LHC) are pleased to announce that our hydro-electricity scheme, which started generating electricity from the waters of the River Teme at Ludlow in June 2016, has now generated over 1,000,000 KWh of renewable energy. Anthony Shuster, Chairman of the LHC, explains: “To put this into context, it amounts to producing enough electricity to power around 345 average UK homes for an entire year. This is a remarkable achievement and one we intend celebrating with our co-op members in the coming year.”
This is a significant milestone for the co-operative which is now in its seventh year of operation. The LHC uses a 30KW turbine to generate electricity. An Archimedes Screw was chosen because it is the most fish-friendly turbine design, enabling fish to pass through it without suffering any harm. The turbine comprises a large helical steel “screw” (in our case about 2.5m in diameter) rotating at a very slow speed, in a concrete and steel “trough”. The screw itself, is not visible from the river. It sits inside an enclosure built of the same stone and timber as the neighbouring mill buildings; so it blends in with its surroundings. The enclosure also provides sound insulation to ensure noise levels are kept very low.
Located on the Horseshoe Weir of the River Teme at Ludford Mill, on the outskirts of Ludlow in Shropshire, the strategic objective of the LHC is to optimise returns from the hydro installation in order to pay back community investors over a twenty-year term, whilst promoting the concepts of renewable energy and energy efficiency within the wider community. Working in collaboration with the Teme Weirs Trust, a display board positioned on the river bank at Temeside in Ludlow was updated in 2019, to provide additional information about the scheme for the benefit of visitors to the town. Further information and a ‘live’ generation counter can also be viewed on the LHC website (see right-hand panel).