READING HYDRO COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY HAS BUILT THE READING HYDRO SCHEME, AND WILL OPERATE IT.
Reading Hydro is nearly ready to start generating electricity!
what has been built?
We’ve installed two Archimedes Screw turbines beside Caversham Weir, and built a turbine house to house the generators, gearboxes and control equipment. We laid a cable under the river to Thames Lido, who will buy most of our electricity. The turbines should generate about 320MWh of renewable electricity each year for decades to come. This is enough to supply the equivalent of 90 average homes. See our technical summary for more information.
The income from selling electricity will be used to operate and maintain the hydro scheme, pay a modest return to shareholders and gradually repay their investment. After this, any surplus will be paid to a community benefit fund, to support local carbon-cutting and sustainability projects.
The hydro scheme is close to the train station and town centre and easily accessible on foot. It can be seen close up from public land, so anyone can come and see it. Local schools, as well as universities and community renewable energy groups from around the country can visit. We will share our monitoring data on our website.
Getting the Structure Right
Reading Hydro is a Community Benefit Society, so anyone who becomes a member has an equal vote in how it is run. We have a wide variety of members and volunteers, including the current directors. There are many different ways in which you can support us.
Supporting the Local Environment
Reading Hydro has made a new fish pass on View Island to help fish and eels move up the river. We’ve also cleared rubbish from the island and created extra habitats for wildlife including bat boxes and bird boxes. The current fish pass on the weir will stay in place, but this is too steep for most fish.