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First phase of Osney Lock turbine completed
THE first phase of a £500,000 power-generating scheme at Osney Lock has been completed.
The project is set to become the first community-owned turbine to be installed on the Thames next spring, when it is expected to open.
Now the Environment Agency and a community eco-group have celebrated the conclusion of the first phase of the construction of the electricity-generating hydro at Osney Lock.
A topping-out ceremony was held at the lock yesterday led by Howard Davidson, south-east regional director at the agency.
He said: “We are really pleased with the way the partnership with the community has gone on this project.
“The work has been delivered to a high standard and it is a pleasure to come to Osney to celebrate this great outcome.”
Earlier this year, the group behind the hydro –Osney Lock Hydro Ltd – raised £320,000 in 10 days by selling shares largely to local residents.
The hydro project will generate 165,500kwh of electricity a year, equivalent to the amount needed to power more than 50 houses.
But the energy will be sold to the Environment Agency rather than going into the National Grid.
The profits will contribute to a fund to be reinvested in low carbon projects to reduce community carbon emissions.
It is hoped the fund will total £2m over a 40-year period.
Saskya Huggins, a director of Osney Lock Hydro, Ltd, said: “We are very pleased to have worked so well with the Environment Agency on this exciting project and to see the work come to fruition.”
The project was first thought up in 2001 and took place to coincide with the agency replacing the gates on Osney Lock’s weir B.
There were fears that noise from construction of the turbine would disrupt residents because of piles driven into the ground to build a water-tight enclosure to push back the Thames before the main part of the project is started.
However, the community group behind the scheme claimed that there were almost no complaints about noise during construction.
Once completed, the development will include a visitor centre on the small island beside the towpath to allow the public to find out how much energy the hydro scheme is generating.
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