Over the past eighteen months, Shrewsbury Hydro have been working on designs for their Shrewsbury Hydro scheme alongside the Castlefields Weir. This work has been financed from £15,000 won by being one of the 4 winners (out of 646 groups who entered) of the national Energyshare competition in December 2011 and £42,725 of funding received in March 2012 under LEAF, the government’s Local Energy Assessment Fund. This funding has allowed detailed mechanical and civil engineering designs to be drawn up and has shown that a hydro scheme is financially viable. Environmental surveys have also been undertaken into fish pass design, local trees and protected species and a flood risk assessment has been completed.
Alongside this background work, Shrewsbury Hydro have put on a number of exhibitions to show at first hand what their scheme would look like and to receive comments from members of the public, particularly those living nearby. A 1 in a 100 scale model of the scheme, commissioned after winning the Energyshare competition, was put on display at a week-long exhibition in April 2012, together with visualisations of different aspects of the finished scheme. The exhibition started at the Shrewsbury Baptist Church Central in Claremont Street before moving to the Castlefields Community Hall in Castlefields and then over the river to St. Peter’s Church Hall in Monkmoor. This was followed in June and July by exhibitions at the Shrewsbury River Festival in the Quarry, at the Shrewsbury Green Fair at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Centre in Abbey Foregate and at the launch of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College’s new Environmental Sciences “Severn” Building. Over 1,500 people have seen the exhibitions and their comments have contributed greatly to the present design.
Shrewsbury Hydro now has its own website at www.shrewsburyhydro.co.uk
Shrewsbury Hydro is a part of Transition Town Shrewsbury and it is intended that the hydro scheme should be owned primarily by people in Shrewsbury and nearby with a small part of the income generated being made available each year for other local renewable energy projects.
Have a look at our video about Shrewsbury Hydro below: