Following a recent review of our communications strategy, we will be ceasing our website ‘subscribe to mailing list’ service over the next few weeks. This means that going forward, we will not proactively alert subscribers when we post new messages on the website. We will continue to post occasional messages though, and so please book-mark our website and be sure to check for updates from time to time. We are pleased to confirm this will not affect any communication with our co-operative members, which will continue to be administered by Sharenergy. Many thanks for your continued interest and, for supporting the work of the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative.
Welcome to 2023, heralding the dawn of another exciting year of renewable energy production for the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative (LHC). As our seventh calendar year of production draws to a close LHC Chairman, Anthony Shuster, reflects on a mixed year:
“Throughout a turbulent year of national and international politics, encompassing the current energy crisis that is impacting our nation, our hydro scheme has continued to quietly plug away, generating electricity from the waters of the River Teme at Ludlow. Having endured an exceptionally dry summer season, with water levels so low that we ceased operation throughout most of June through to October in order to protect the local ecology, our overall production was lower than might otherwise have been expected. However, I was recently joined by our local MP Philip Dunne and representatives of the LHC Board, to celebrate our hydro scheme having generated over 1,000,000 KWh of electricity since we started production – an important milestone in our co-operative’s success. This is a remarkable achievement and one we intend celebrating with our co-op members in the coming year.”
Despite the lower volume of electricity generation this year, the co-operative continues to go from strength to strength, with cumulative volumes generated across the seven year period still largely on track with original forecast predictions. As such, we enter 2023 with renewed optimism that the coming year will continue to generate renewable energy, and bring encouraging returns for our co-operative members. Happy New Year!
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).
A warm welcome to 2022 and the beginning of our seventh year of hydro-electric generation. The past year has been relatively quiet for the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative. We have undertaken general maintenance tasks throughout the year, and Clive in particular, has done a sterling job keeping the waterways clear of debris, to ensure we maximise the flow of water through our turbine. Happily, there were no major emergencies to trouble-shoot this year – it’s been very much ‘business as usual’. You will find the full calendar year generation figures freshly published on ‘The Scheme’ page of our website.
As we move into 2022, Anthony Shuster (Chairman of the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative), confirms: “We have benefited from high water levels throughout most of the year, with just September being dryer than normal. As such, we have had a strong year of hydro-electric generation which you will see reflected in our Generation Output charts. It gives me pleasure to report that we are well and truly back to normal operation, with continued confidence that our plant is ready to deliver our quota of hydro power across the coming year. In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Co-op Members, contractors and interested parties for their continued support and, to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!”
It is that time of year again, when we start preparing for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative. Following the success of our virtual meeting last year and, mindful of the ongoing restrictions around Covid-19, our AGM will once again be hosted on Zoom. Sharenergy will be contacting Members with full details and joining instructions, shortly. In the meantime, to give our members as much notice as possible, we are happy to announce the AGM will be held on Friday 26th March, 2021 at 18:00.
A warm welcome to 2021 and the beginning of our sixth year of hydro-electric generation. The past year brought many challenges for the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative. Extreme flooding in February caused serious damage to our hydro plant. Then we had the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions while repair work got underway. Finally, there were unexpected technical issues to overcome before we were finally back up and running again. Thankfully from our member’s perspective, we had appropriate insurance in place to cover the repair work and loss of income. In fact, despite our electricity generation being out of operation for nearly five months in 2020, we nevertheless resumed normal operation by August and had a strong finish to the year. You will find the full calendar year generation figures freshly published on ‘The Scheme’ page of our website.
As we move into 2021, Anthony Schuster (Chairman of the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative), confirms: “Despite the challenges of 2020, we are optimistic of a strong year ahead in terms of hydro-electric generation for 2021. With all repair work successfully completed, we are back to normal operation, with renewed confidence that our plant is ready to deliver our quota of hydro power in the months ahead. In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Co-op Members, contractors and interested parties for their continued support and, to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!”
“The generator has now been rewound and reinstalled. Twice. It failed testing the first time, meaning it had to be removed and returned for further repair. The hydraulic brake motor has also had to be replaced, twice. Both were finally operational by the end of May, by which time the equipment in the control cabinet had also been given a clean bill of health.”
Although failure of the initial installations increased our team’s workload considerably, the remedial work was delivered while awaiting delivery of a vital component – replacement stop-logs (used for sound-proofing), from Germany. However, Clive and the team were able to put the time to good use:
“The downtime gave our team the opportunity to inspect the lower screw bearing and to change the oil there. This involved creating a dam and emptying the water from the screw enclosure, to allow access; the whole process taking two days. The replacement stop-logs eventually arrived in the middle of June and were installed the following week. This just left recalibration of the various water sensors, which were causing misleading information to be sent to the main controller. So, after a delay of over four months, we are finally back up and running once more, albeit slowly given the current lack of water in the river.”
Looking back at past data, you will see that July through to September are historically our quietest months when it comes to electricity generation. This is due to water levels in the river being lower throughout the summer period. However, we are sure you will share our relief that, after a busy few months of repair work activity, we are now once again fully operational. Many thanks for your continued interest and, for supporting the work of the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative.
Over the past six weeks, our team have continued to work with contractors to bring about repairs to our hydro infrastructure and we are happy to report that this work is now nearing completion. Whilst Coronavirus lockdown has inevitably delayed proceedings, we have also had to cope with some technical set-backs along the way. However, with the further lifting of lockdown restrictions this week, we continue to anticipate the generator will be back online and resuming normal business activity, by the end of June.
In the meantime, we are pleased to report that our insurers have now paid out interim payments toward the repair work and in lieu of our lost income from business interruption, with a further final payment due shortly. With this in mind, we still anticipate being in a position to make a repayment of capital to our members later in the year, as per the motion carried at our recent AGM.
Please continue to stay safe in these difficult times and we will post further updates shortly, just as soon as our hydro generator resumes normal operation. Many thanks for your continued interest and, for supporting the work of the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative.
With the UK now in the grip of Coronavirus lockdown, there have been inevitable delays to the assessment and repair of our hydro-electric generator, following the impact of flood damage earlier in the year. However, we are pleased to report that we have appropriate insurance policies in place and a small team of our LHC directors have been working tirelessly with the loss adjustor and associated contractors, to assess and repair the damage most expediently, whilst adhering to UK Government social distancing recommendations.
Dic Bickerton explains: “We have now removed both the main motor and the hydraulic brake motor from the generator bunker. These have been taken back to workshops, where they have been stripped down, inspected and contractors have provided us with the quotation for undertaking the repairs… We are expecting the reinstallation of these units during the first or second week in May. Contractors will then come to site to test and reconfigure the control cabinet and generator bunker.” In parallel to this, plans are also afoot to dredge the tail-race, to remove debris that has gathered there, under the force of the flood waters.
Our team are expecting to confirm a definite timeline for completion of the outstanding work, over the coming week, with the intention of resuming hydro-electric operation as soon as possible; realistically, this is likely to be at some point in June.
In other news, we are happy to confirm that the AGM of the Ludlow Hydro Co-operative was successfully delivered via audio conferencing on 25th March, as planned. All motions were successfully carried and Co-Op members should now be in receipt of their interest payments.
In light of rapidly changing global events, the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative Directors have been liaising closely with Sharenergy. We are pleased to announce that our forthcoming AGM will still go ahead next Wednesday (25/03/2020) but will now be run as a ‘virtual meeting’ using audio conferencing technology. By now, Members will have received communication from Sharenergy providing instruction on how to participate, noting that the proposed change of approach to our normal AGM is in response to UK Government advice on restricting public meetings and on adopting social distancing principles, in relation to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
We are pleased to confirm remedial plans continue to be worked on, to bring our hydro generation back online most expediently, following the impact of the significant flooding that recently occurred in Ludlow. In light of recent damage analysis, the hydro directors have issued the following joint statement to keep Members updated: “Our Hydro scheme was badly hit with damage to the motor enclosure and screw cover. The main control hut was spared major damage and should be relatively easy to re-commission. Our insurers have accepted liability for the inevitable claim for both business interruption (loss of income) and damage to the scheme. The directors are presently working with the loss adjuster to obtain quotes for works which is likely to take a few weeks before we can commence repairs. We now anticipate the hydro being out of action for a couple of months, subject to there being no restriction on availability of engineers.”