Thursday, 27 March 2008

Who we are and what we will do - (27/03)

The weir - where water will be turned into electricity !

It seems that everyone these days has a blog - so with New Mills being on the cutting edge of everything that is good why should we be any different !

Who we are :

Torrs Hydro New Mills Limited is an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) for the Benefit of the Community. Torrs Hydro was registered specifically so that the community could own the hydro electric scheme to be built in "The Torrs" in New Mills. The Directors are all local people who have a keen interest in the project.

The Company has a set of rules that set out how we shall operate and what our objectives are. There are two types of IPS. One is for the benefit of the shareholders the other, which we are, is for the benefit of the community.

This type of 'society' run 'for the benefit of the community' must principally show that :

  • the business is run primarily for the benefit of people who are not members of the society and must be in the interests of the community at large.
  • the rules of the society must not allow distribution of profits or assets to the members: profits should be ploughed back into the business
  • the organisation has special reasons for registering under this part of the industrial and provident society legislation rather than as a company,
  • on dissolution the assets of the society must pass to some other body with similar objects, not to the members.

Our rules reflect these requirements, our stated aims are to :

  • Help regenerate the community and environmental sustainability of the New Mills area.
  • Provide an opportunity for public-spirited people and organisations to contribute financially to the community, with the expectation of a social dividend, rather than personal financial reward.

Examples of the ways in which we may carry out our aims include

  • Developing and operating a grant system out of the revenues from the Scheme;
  • Developing an educational programme on environmental issues
  • Developing new or existing services to the local community that contribute to the local economy.

Well thats a summary of our aims and teh company set-up, more in-depth detail on this can be found on the Company web-site (link is on this page to the right)

What are we going to do :

Heres the fun bit, the 'doing' bit, the bit that everyone asks about !

We are going to make electricity - using water !

Technically though we shall install a 70kW Reverse Archimedean Screw with a diameter of 2.4 Metres. Originally (in the black and white days), Archimedean screws were used to carry water uphill, but someone had the idea of reversing one to generate electricity. There is one already ninstalled in Devon, but this one will be the first that is owned by the community.

The whole project is a long term investment, the screw has an expected life of 40 years. Based on official records of river levels over the last 20 years, we estimate that it will generate 70kW 45% of the time. When the river level is low it will just turn off. Approximately 260,000 Kilowatt hours (or units) will be generated annually - thats about enough electricity to power 70 houses.

The actual installation of the 'screw' will be interesting (we will let you know nearer the time when this will be as its one not to be missed), there is no road access to The Torrs that can carry the 10 tonnes of screw so it will have to be lowered (very carefully I might add) from the nearby Union Road bridge down into The Torrs

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