The Ludlow Hydro Co-operative (LHC) was created in 2015 and raised £400,000 through a community co-operative share ownership scheme, to fund installation of an Archimedes Screw. This is located on the Horseshoe Weir of the River Teme at Ludford Mill, on the outskirts of Ludlow in Shropshire.
Working in partnership with the Teme Weirs Trust, to ensure minimal environmental impact to the river and local wildlife, LHC use a 30KW turbine to generate enough electricity to supply roughly forty households (about 170,000 KWh per year), within Ludlow.
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.
The amount of electricity that can be generated by the turbine is influenced by seasonal variations in the river water level. If the water level is either too low or too high, production stops but resumes automatically, once a more stable level has been restored.
The Archimedes Screw started generating hydro-electricity in June 2016 – see our official launch video produced by SMN Film, below:
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.
Please view our Downloads page to find out further information, including the Outline Design and Design and Access Statement documents, prepared in 2014 by Mann Power Consulting Ltd.
For year-on-year comparison figures, please refer to the bar charts below – click on each chart to enlarge the image, if required.
In addition to this, here is a short extract from Anthony Shuster’s ‘Chairman’s Report’ that was presented to the AGM in March 2019, along with the corresponding output figures:
“2018 was one of, if not the hottest summers on record but despite this we produced just under 169,000 kWh. This was 6% better than 2017 and only 0.6% below our optimum target. 2019 has started strongly so we are very hopeful that we will have another good year.”
“The majority of our income is generated from our Feed-in Tariff. Annual increases in this tariff are restricted to RPI, (2.7% for 2019/2020). However, this year we have negotiated an increase of more than 10% for our export tariff. With these increases and with our overheads on track, we anticipate being able to continue making share interest payments at levels close to our projections.”
During February 2020, severe flooding caused damage to our hydro equipment. This resulted in serious disruption to service over the following five months, while repairs were carried out. This is reflected in the figures outlined above. Thankfully, we had appropriate insurance in place to cover the repair work and loss of earnings.