Turbine House Crowdfunder

Caversham Weir, 5th February 2021 (Thames in flood!)

We’re raising funds to build our turbine house

The construction of our hydro scheme started in November and is well underway, as shown in the photo above.  The twin Archimedes screw turbines are to be installed in early March 2021 and commissioning is in April. These turbines will generate around 300 Megawatt hours of electricity a year, as depending on river flow.

Our Turbine House will be constructed by volunteers with building experience to keep our costs down. However, we need to raise some extra money to cover the costs of the materials for the walls and roof. We also need to buy the security door which will prevent unauthorised access to the equipment. 

A great team of dedicated people have managed to progress this project despite COVID-19 and significant flooding at the start of the work. Now we are looking for your support to complete an important part of this ambitious community project. We need to raise a minimum of £4,000 to purchase the materials but we have a stretch goal of £10,000 to allow us to employ professional mural artists to paint our chosen mural (details on the final design are TBA).

we’d love for your support
our campaign closes 27th Februrary 2021

We’ve made it! £980,000 raised in successful share offer

Success! Thank you to all of our investors!

Reading Hydro CBS is pleased to announce that following the recent reopening of our Share Offer to new investment, we have been successful in reaching our revised target of £980,000 to build and operate twin Archimedes turbines by Caversham Weir in Reading, UK.

Successful Local-led investment

2020 has certainly been a challenging year, and it has been no different for Reading Hydro, as we reached a critical point for our project in the summer. Following on from our Share Offer Raise earlier this year in February, and after obtaining firm quotes and timescales for delivery of both our required infrastructure and equipment in the following months, the Board of Directors decided that a revised Share Offer and a reopening period was needed to ensure that the construction of twin Archimedes Screw hydro-electric turbines could go ahead by Caversham Weir.

We reopened our Revised Share Offer in August 2020 with a new target of £980,000, with current and new investors welcomed to join and build on their commitments to the project as to help us reach our revised target. We further extended the offer into early September as to allow more local investors their chance to get involved with the project, offsetting any ‘surplus’ against the £100,000 investment from our biggest institutional investor, Co-operatives UK. This extension has allowed us to ensure that 96% of our investors are people and businesses that are local to Reading and the Reading area – truly a phenomenal achievement for a project run by locals, for local benefit.

A Significant Milestone

Having closed the Share Offer following a successful raise, the Board of Directors are now placing into motion the next steps of the build and administration of the scheme. Our administrators, Sharenergy, will be contacting investors to formally issue their shares to them prior to the end of September – Reading Hydro asks that all investors keep an eye out for this communication, and that they should contact us at their earliest convenience if after September they have not received the official issuing of shares notifications.

Concurrently, the Board are also working with our Civils contractor, Land & Water, to prepare our site and start the process of building the foundations for the turbines. This work, scheduled to take place during the rest of 2020 by Caversham Weir, will be the first phase of building for the project, with the planned installation of the Spaans-Babcock Archimedes screws taking place in early 2021.

Our sincere thanks

The Board of Directors wish to thank all of our investors, members and volunteers who have committed themselves to this project to help ensure that clean energy from the River Thames becomes a reality for Reading. there is a long way to go yet, but we are confident that we are making real progress in delivering sustainable energy for the benefit of the Reading community.

With Many Thanks,

The Directors,
Reading Hydro CBS Ltd

Group of Reading Hydro members celebrating by Caversham Weir
Thank you to all our members and investors for making our share offer a success!

Can I sell my shares?

You can’t sell your Reading Hydro shares in the first 12 months. After that, you can only sell them back to Reading Hydro CBS. Investing in Reading Hydro is intended to be for the long term, and it’s at the discretion of the Directors whether shares will be bought back, and only if funds are available.

Breaking News!!!

Group of Reading Hydro members celebrating by Caversham Weir

Fantastic breaking news – Reading Hydro has received a boost to our share raise, thanks to an offer of a £100k investment from Power to Change. With this we have reached our £700k target! Thank you so much to everyone who has invested.

Our share offer will stay open as stated to February 14th, but we may have to scale back applications for shares. To encourage community ownership, we will give priority to applications from Reading residents.

Are the interest rates limited?

Caversham Weir in Winter

Once the scheme is up-and-running, we aim to offer 4% interest to investors each year (or at the rate of inflation if that is higher). The rate is not guaranteed, it will be agreed by Reading Hydro members at the AGM and depend on the income and costs during the previous year. You can invest and chose not to receive interest.

To apply for shares go, to https://hydro.readinguk.org/shares/ or email us at reading.hydro.cbs@gmail.com if you have any questions.

What other examples are there of this type of plant?

SONY DSC

There are lots of hydro power schemes in the UK already using Archimedes screw turbines. We have learned and taken inspiration from them. There are five sites nearby on the Thames at Mapledurham, Osney, Sandford, Sonning and Windsor. Reading Hydro is really close to Reading town centre and the railway station, and by far the easiest one to visit!

To apply for shares go, to https://hydro.readinguk.org/shares/ or email us at reading.hydro.cbs@gmail.com if you have any questions.