Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

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SWPaddler
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Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by SWPaddler » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:21 pm

http://www.energyshare.com/exe-hydro/

Apparently it is proposed to put schemes on all three Exeter weirs with the Trews scheme being done by Exeter City Council and the others by Transition Exeter.

superman
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by superman » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:54 pm

From our ongoing experience with a proposed scheme on Abingdon Weir, it is important to pick up on the Publication of the proposal by the EA. Legally all they have to do is publish a notice in the back of the local paper that there is an application to extract water. You then have 28? days to object. This was a big job to mobilise objections and it worked. The EA have insisted that there must be an agreement with canoeists before they will grant it. PM me if you want any more info on our experiences.

pete.s
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by pete.s » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:24 am

Looks as though they're in Exeter today, although I'm not able to go and talk to them about it... http://www.energyshare.com/exe-hydro/updates/

It would be interesting to find out the exact proposals and how they might impact upon paddlers, as it doesn't look as though recreational use has been considered in the scoping report (http://www.exeter.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=11811&p=0). It also looks like the Environment Agency won't be too keen, as there is potential for a dramatic impact on fish.

Pete

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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by superman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:45 pm

Points in your favour are that the EA is statutorily obliged to promote recreation.It is NOT so obliged to promote any hydro scheme. This is new territory for the EA.
Contact Chris Hawkesworth at the BCU who will send you a very useful document on how to proceed. Note that you need to keep an eye out in th elocal paper for the EA Extraction Licence Application notice and you must use the word OBJECT for it to count in your response. You need to find out from your council or whoever the proposers of the scheme are, what stage of the process they are at and what their next move will be. The document referred to above will help you.
Also if you pm me I will give you the name of the EA Recreation Officer for the South who is very helpful. Hydrology, Fish and Recreation concerns must all be satisfied before the EA will grant an extraction licence. It then has to go to planning application.

SWPaddler
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by SWPaddler » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:06 pm

No sign of Transition Exeter at the Guildhall today at 3.30pm.

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mole
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by mole » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:36 pm

As an Energy Manager looking at installing a micro hydro and a paddler the best thing you can do is talk to the people involved. It is through Energy Share so is a community scheme not big business. The Exe is a salmon and trout river and so will have real restrictions by the EA anyway.

The important things to look at are the potential size of the turbine and how much water it will abstract from the flow, compare this to the flow that the weir needs to be playable and see just how badly playtimes will be affected, look at the EAs hands off flow requirements as well.

The scheme I'm involved in is on a weir that is not used by any local canoe clubs (my club is local) and could actually create a squirt feature if I'm lucky, so not all Hydro is bad! Rather than set up as opposision groups get involved and see what influence you can have. It might be possible to get important weirs to you put aside in favour of other places or get your recreational needs accommodated.

If you get some info and want some help decoding it then PM me,

If it makes you feel any better then the feasability study linked to in the energy share pages looks very optimistic and its unlikely to take as much water as they predict. Also when flows are very high you might be able to persuade them to shut the penstock gates as the head will be so reduced generation is low. Unfortunately I don't know the weir so can't offer much specific advice at the moment.

Neill
Sometimes it's just too much effor......aughhh

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Chaucer
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by Chaucer » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:18 am

Why aren't they looking at Cowley weir? - that would have much less impact on kayakers. As an ex member of Exeter Uni CC (late 1980s) I have alerted all my old friends to this.
Nick Mawer

superman
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by superman » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:05 am

Certainly it`s agood idea to write to the scheme proposers to alert them of your concerns so that discussions could take place. We did that at Abingdon and our letter was acknowledged but our invitation to meet was ignored. They then went ahead and applied for an EA Extraction Licence which we only became aware of by chance by noticing a small notice in the back of the local paper. This has now been refused by the EA unless an agreement can be reached with canoeists.
I don`t think the ignoring was necessarily a deliberate snub, they just had no idea of the importance of weirs to kayakers and how the system "works".
The specifics of what kayakers need at different weirs will vary and it may be possible to co -exist but the schemes need to realize they have to take kayaking considerations into their plans early on.

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mole
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by mole » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:44 pm

superman wrote: The specifics of what kayakers need at different weirs will vary and it may be possible to co -exist but the schemes need to realize they have to take kayaking considerations into their plans early on.
What he said
Sometimes it's just too much effor......aughhh

Garry
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by Garry » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Suggest you also do some research on EU state aid law as it applies to hydro electric schemes. When we looked at this for Abingdon it appears that if you are looking to claim government tarriffs for any electrictiy generated (and frankly they would not be building it if they are not claiming these) then you cannot also use public money to build the scheme as well as thsi counts as using public money twice which is illegal. So if its the council building it they could not use there own (or more accurately yours and mine) to build this they woudl have to get private money. We did not fully check this in the Abingdon case as was confirmed that would be privately funded so worth checking further in your case?

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mole
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Re: Exeter proposed hydroelectric scheme for Pots

Post by mole » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:16 pm

Garry wrote:Suggest you also do some research on EU state aid law as it applies to hydro electric schemes. When we looked at this for Abingdon it appears that if you are looking to claim government tarriffs for any electrictiy generated (and frankly they would not be building it if they are not claiming these) then you cannot also use public money to build the scheme as well as thsi counts as using public money twice which is illegal. So if its the council building it they could not use there own (or more accurately yours and mine) to build this they woudl have to get private money. We did not fully check this in the Abingdon case as was confirmed that would be privately funded so worth checking further in your case?
warning: Geek out ahead

Not quite, under the de minimis rules, If you receive grant funding for the generator then you can't claim FITs, you could claim grant funding for the civils (the vast majority of any costs) and just fund the turbine yourself and still claim the feed in tariff. If a council you can use your own funds and claim FITs but cannot get national or EU grant funding. If not a council you can't get any local authority, national or EU grant funding for the generator. Council could invest if taking a share in the project but can't provide a grant. This is a community scheme judging by the application for energy share funding (british gas fund pot so CERTs, I think) so they will be one of seven models of potential co-op company. Probably a community interest company or industrial and provident society. Normally there will be a mix of social investment and loan funding, possibly some grant funding if they were successful with the energy share bid.

Neill
Sometimes it's just too much effor......aughhh

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