Say YES to the Teddington and Ham Hydro
We understand that a petition is being circulated opposing the scheme. In our view, this is misinformation and unhelpful in assisting residents to form an opinion on the scheme.
Don’t let ill-informed opinions presented as fact undermine this great scheme. Our photo shoot in April proved that large numbers of the community are in favour of our scheme: nevertheless, our opponents are desperate to get the scheme kicked into the long grass, even though they claim to support renewable energy schemes.
Our FAQ section provides answers to all of these concerns, but we thought it worthwhile addressing each in turn.
In a nutshell
The whole purpose of the development is to generate electricity from renewable energy sources currently estimated between 1.5-1.9GWh annually – approximately equivalent to the electricity demand of 500-600 homes. The project aims to avoid CO2 emissions amounting to 1,000 tonnes per annum at the upper end. The scheme will be community owned, with 90% of free cash flow (after operating & financing costs, and provisions for capital expenditure) being allocated to interest payments for local members and the remaining 10% will be paid to the Teddington & Ham Hydro Foundation. This will “promote and develop projects in the local area which encourage sustainable development, environmental improvement and the low carbon economy, together with any activities related thereto” (extract from Company Objects registered with Companies House and Community Interest Companies Regulator).
Know the facts, not the misinformation
Environment and Ecology
In addition to the obvious benefits of carbon reduction, we have shown that the scheme will not harm the ecology in the environs and indeed the addition of a fish pass and an eel pass will significantly improve the migration of many species of aquatic life. The Environment Agency, Richmond’s Environmental Health Officer and planning committee agrees that there are no ecological grounds to refuse the scheme.
In addition, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has carried out a sustainability life cycle analysis which shows the carbon payback of the scheme as nine months.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety is paramount and has been designed in at the outset, with our scheme being an opportunity to improve the current Health & Safety provision. Currently, any river user who falls into the water and is swept beyond the existing booms would be swept over the weir, with dire consequences. Our scheme improves the river and land-based signage, the booms, and provides a carefully considered trash screen that has been designed as a further line of defence, with our scheme now offering a clear and safe escape route where none existed before. Our scheme will have negligible effect on river flows and usage patterns and significantly improves Health & Safety provision.
These measures were designed in consultation with a specifically set up consultation River Users Group which includes representatives from Tamesis Sailing Club, Lensbury Watersports Centre, Lensbury Sailing Club, The Skiff Club (Teddington) Environment Agency and The Teddington Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
A key area of concern revolved around tides and a number of days when back ground noise levels fell up to 15 dB below usual levels as high tide approached. The only reason for this reduction in background noise was the lack of water flowing over the weir. In these circumstances, our turbines would not turn as there would be insufficient flow and therefore no noise would be created, making the argument rather moot. Under all other circumstances, the dominant noise source remains the thunderous noise from the cascading of water over the weir. Let’s not forget that weirs are actually rather noisy!
Head Level Differences and Background Sound Levels
Background noise levels fall when there is high tide and no head differential for the turbines to exploit, so they won’t run. Any analysis of how our system compares to lower background noise levels is pointless!
Now or Never?
Getting planning permission for our scheme at this hearing is even more pressing now as a result of recent changes to government legislation. These changes mean that this may be the only chance for a hydro scheme to be built at Teddington. If the decision is further deferred the scheme may not be built at all. Our community will miss out on a beacon of sustainable development that will reduce carbon emissions, be an educational resource for our children and, via its charity foundation, put money back into the local community to seed other renewable energy, energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes.
Please help to ensure the right decision is taken for OUR community.
Say YES to the Teddington and Ham Hydro