Archimedes Screw arrives on site

We’ve arrived at the most exciting part of the project with the Archimedes Screw now on site and awaiting installation shortly

Many thanks to Marches Biogas who have held the Archimedes screw assembly on their yard until ready to go to site. Some people have asked about the cladding on the screw channel – it will go on after the screw is in place; the river has been to high to complete these works over the winter. See the plans for an idea of how it will look when complete

October update

The civil engineering work started on the hydro turbine in the second week in August and the schedule was that by the second week in October the main enclosure walls would be complete, with stop logs top and bottom, which would allow us to remove the temporary cofferdam and retreat out of the river itself. This work proceeded smoothly, with an slippage of about a week, but we are on course to withdraw from the river and remove the cofferdam imminently.

Once this is done, we can continue to work on the detail within the enclosure protected by the stop logs, and the weir will be returned to normal operation.

Over the next few months( between now and January) we will be working on the more detailed work (building an enclosure for the electrical control gear, putting in place steel work in the form of sluice gates, screens and walkways, laying electrical cables and hydraulic lines, ready for the turbine to be delivered and put in place probably in January.

July update

There is now only just over £20,000 left to raise in shares for the hydro turbine, and the decision has been made to go ahead with construction and raise the final £20,000 while work progresses. This is important because our licence from the Environment Agency only allows us to carry out construction work in the river in the months of July/ August and September so a delay at this stage could postpone the project for a full year.

We have been engaged in detailed discussions with our preferred contractor over the past month and are now very close to having a fully specified contract ready for signing, with a view to starting construction on 1st August.

Our planning application includes conditions that we refresh our ecology survey, and that we put in place a plan to maintain a watching Archaeological brief. These need to be submitted to the local authority at least 21 days before work begins on site so we have commissioned these so that we have the sufficient notice to make a start at the beginning of August.

Minute discussions are still ongoing in respect to the small print on the project leases, and we are expecting to sign both the leases and the construction contracts at the same time. We hope to be able to issue a big announcement in the very near future – please watch this space.

Selection of contractors

The directors of Ludlow Hydro Co-operative have been busy over the last few weeks having detailed discussions with various potential civil engineering contracts to select the preferred contractor for the construction phase. This has involved having more detailed engineering drawings prepared for the civil works and looking carefully at which components will be cast on site and which can be pre-cast off-site. We are hoping to be able to announce the installation partners within the next fortnight.

We are still about £40,000 short of the target but this is within the contingency reserve for the project and the directors are confident that this will be raised once we have announced the chosen installers and a more detailed installation timetable.

Closing date extended

We are very nearly there – just £65,000 to raise of the £365,000 we need. We’ve extended the closing date so that we can get this last money in.

The original closing date was set at the end of March because it appeared as if the treasury were going to axe the EIS tax relief from schemes like this from the end of this financial year. In the March budget there was confirmation that we have another six months before the tax relief is axed, so this gives us the flexibility to extend the share offer closing date into April. The sooner we get the last of the money the sooner we can start to build.

Planning permission and licences received

We are very pleased to announce that Ludlow Hydro Co-operative has received its planning permission and impoundment licence jsut before the end of December.

This has allowed us to submit our application for preliminary accreditation to OFGEM before the deadline of 31st December which has allowed us to lock into the current Feed in Tariff. If we had not met this deadine, we would have had to accept the FIT tariff reduction which is expected at the start of April 2015.

We now have all the permits we need in order to go ahead with construction. Before we do this we need to complete and sign the necessary leases, which are well in hand. As soon as these are signed, we will be launching a share offer to raise the funds needed for construction. We are hoping to do this by the beginning of February.