More hydropower from the Thames

Published: Wednesday, 24 May 2017

ANOTHER hydro-power scheme on the Thames has been opened, generating electricity following seven months construction.

The scheme by Pridewater Estates Ltd involved years of planning, including environmental surveys, and was completed in January, at Sonning, but has just been officially opened.

Sonnin Hydropower StationArchimedes screw

Pridewater Estates Ltd is a national canal marina organisation which owns and operates four sites across England and the answer to using hydro-power was by the use of the Archimedes screw, the device working by water falling naturally over a cascade, rotating an Archimedes screw, which generates electricity.

While not feasible to install a screw at each marina location, the idea came to build one which would produce more than enough energy to offset all four marinas at once—something which the generator at Sonning is already on track to achieve.

Provides inspiration

To officially open the site, Pridewater Estates’ Terry Lane gave the keynote address and unveiled a plaque commemorating the day, explaining:

“All our people who have been involved in this development are immensely proud of what we are doing here. We hope it provides the inspiration for others to look for similar opportunities to improve the environment, while at the same time growing their businesses as we are growing ours, in order to create more job opportunities, a stronger economy and increased prosperity for this country.”

Construction at site began in the summer of 2016 and was completed by January 2017 with the screw now fully operational and generating electricity. The opening ceremony was held at the hydro-power site on the Thames with a reception afterwards at the neighbouring Upper Thames Motor Yacht Club.