Saturday, 29 November 2008

Thank you ! - (29/11)

What a great day !

It started off at 9:00am this morning down in the Torrs putting up the Christmas tree in a temperature of -4oC (and it didn't get much warmer down there during the day.

The AGM was a fantastic event, with some great involvement form our shareholders with some excellent questions which we hope we answered as best we could - we think there were approx 110 who attended and about a third of those came down to the site afterwards for one of the guided tours.

Lets also take this 'blog' as an opportunity to welcome our new Directors to the board, the full list of Directors is now as follows and we will do some more in depth 'interviews' of them over the next week or so :

Sean Whewell - current
Richard Body - current
Esther Jones - current
Maggies Cole - current
Will Griffin - new
Lorrie Marchington - new
Simon Clayton - new
Mary Cohen - new

Till Geiger will be stepping down as a Director but will continue to be involved with the scheme as well as help in wrapping up any loose ends from the first year of operation of the scheme.

We will post the motions discussed and voted upon as well as additional requested detail here on the blog and on teh web site later in the week.

Leaping fish... - (29/11)

Some more good news !

We have secured funding with the Environment Agency to turn the Sycamore tree overlooking the Archimedes screw into two leaping fish (a brown trout often seen in the river and a salmon which will hopefully soon be seen in the river)

Sometime in January/early February, work will start on the tree, which has recently been heavily lopped in preparation - the work itself will be great to watch with our artist using chain saws and a cherry picker to change the tree into a piece of art.

Given the location of the tree (overlooking the weir) it will be a great spectacle to watch being transformed and for visitors to admire in years to come.

Friday, 28 November 2008

AGM reminder - (26/11)

With the Torrs Hydro Christmas Tree due to be switched on this Saturday (on the same day as our first AGM) it looks already like many of our existing shareholders have also been getting into the Christmas mood in the response to the Torrs Hydro 'Invitation to Invest' - remember existing shareholders can increase their shareholding and if you hold a minimum of £500 you are able to claim a 20% tax credit at the end of this tax year which is a great return in year one of any investment.
You may want to also consider using Torrs Hydro shares as an easy to wrap 'green' present for a loved one !

As a reminder Saturdays AGM starts at 11:00am on Saturday in the Revival Church in New Mills and you will also have an opportunity to visit the site afterwards.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Landscaping project - (25/11)

Next week the Torrs Hydro site will be fenced off whilst the outstanding landscaping project starts - the work is expected to take 6-8 weeks (two week break over the Christmas period).

The end result will be better and safer viewing for the public and improvements to the area around the site.
Project updates will be posted on here.

On this day... (25/11)

Highlights in History Which Occur November 25:

1120 English royal yacht "White Ship" leaves in storm

1165 RC German emperor Frederik I Barbarossa visits Utrecht
1185 Umberto Crivelli replaces Lucius III as Pope Urban III

1277 Giovanni Gaetano Orsini elected as Pope Nicolas III
1357 Charles IV issues letter of protection of Jews of Strasbourg Alsace
1500 Governor De Bobadilla of Santo Domingo captures Columbus
1659 Michiel de Ruyter conquerors Danish city Nyborg
1688 Princess Anne flies from London to Nottingham
1715 1st English patent granted to an American, for processing corn
1744 Austrian forces pillage & kill Jews of Prague
1758 Britain capture Ft Duquesne (Pittsburgh) from French
1766 Pope Clement XIII warns On dangers of anti-Christian writings
1783 Britain evacuates NY, their last military position in US1805 Opera "Tha‹s" 1st American performance
1817 1st sword swallower in US performs (NYC)1834 Delmonico's, one of NY's finest restaurants, provides a meal of soup, steak, coffee & half a pie for 12›
1841 35 Amistad survivors return to Africa1847 Opera "Marta" is produced (Vienna)1863 Battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee
1864 Confederate plot to burn NYC, fails and Confederate retreat at Sandersville, Georgia
1867 Alfred Nobel invents dynamite and US, Congress commission looks into "impeachment" of Pres Johnson1872 J C Watson discovers asteroid #128 Nemesis
1884 John B Meyenberg of St Louis patents evaporated milk1892 A Charlois discovers asteroid #346 Hermentaria
1894 Greenback (Independent) Party organizes in Indianapolis
1897 Spain grants Puerto Rico autonomy
1899 Battle at Graspan, Cape colony: general Methuen beats Farmers
1902 Franz Leh rs opera "Wiener Fraueen," premieres in Vienna1908 Dorando Pietri (It) beats Johnny Hayes (US) in MSG marathon by 60 yds
1911 3rd CFL Grey Cup: U of Toronto defeats Toronto Argonauts, 14-7
1912 American College of Surgeons incorporates in Springield, Ill and Socialist International rejects that world war is coming
1913 Woodrow Wilson's daughter Jessie marries in White House
1920 WTAW of College Station, Tx, broadcast 1st football play-by-play
1922 G Van Biesbroeck discovers asteroid #3378 and Japanese crown prince Hirohito appointed prince-regent
1925 KPD proposes German Parliament expropriate possession of monarchy
1929 Belgium govt Jaspar falls1930 690 earthquake shocks recorded in 1 day (Ito Japan)
1933 1st Soviet liquid rocket attains altitude of 261' (80m) and L Boyer discovers asteroid #1295 Deflotte & #1296 Andree
1935 Resident Institution for Social History (IISG) forms in Amsterdam
1936 Germany & Japan sign anti-Komintern pact
1937 World's fair of Paris closes (31.2 million visitors)
1940 Patria steamer sinks killing 200, outside of Haifa and U of Mich retires Tom Harmon's #98
1941 German Jews in Netherlands declared stateless and Lou Boudreau becomes Cleveland Indians player/manager
1942 National Organization for Aid to Underground, LO, forms
1943 U-600 sinks in Atlantic Ocean
1944 32nd CFL Grey Cup: Montreal HMCS defeat Hamilton Flying Wildcats, 7-6
1947 Future Queen Elizabeth marries Prince Philip in Westminster Abbey and New Zealand acedes to Statute of Westminster, becomes a dominion
1948 Ft Funston's 16-inch coastal guns removed and KING TV channel 5 in Seattle, WA (NBC) begins broadcasting and KING-TV, Seattle, forms air with 1st Pacific NW telecast and S Arend discovers asteroid #1565 Lemaitre
1950 38th CFL Grey Cup: Toronto Argonauts defeats Winn Blue Bombers, 13-0 and UN gives Eritrea to Ethiopia
1951 17 die in a train crash in Woodstock Ala and Cleve Browns penalized a record 209 yards against Chicago Bears and Commemoration of resistance fighter Hannie Buy forbidden
1952 Agatha Christie's "Mousetrap," premieres in London and George Meany appointed as chairman of AFL and Only win ever for NFL's Dallas Texans (11-1) beats Bears 27-23
1953 Earthquake/tsnunami strikes Honshu, Japan and Hungary beats England in soccer match, 6-3
1955 Race segregation forbidden on trains & buses between US states and Walter Piston's 6th Symphony, premieres
1957 Pres Eisenhower suffers a mild stroke, impairing his speech
1958 Senegal becomes an autonomous state in French Community
1960 1st atomic reactor for research & development, Richland Wa and Last broadcast of Amos 'n' Andy on radio CBS ends last 4 radio soap operas (Ma Perkins, Right to Happiness, and Young Dr Malone & 2nd Mrs Burton) & cancels 4 other series
1961 NBA's Bob Cousy becomes 2nd player to score 15,000 points
1962 WBJA (now WMGC) TV channel 34 in Binghamton, NY (ABC) 1st broadcast
1963 JFK laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery
1965 Congo milt coup under Gen Mobutu, Pres Kasavubu flees
1966 Pirate Radio Station 390 (Radio Invicta) closes down (reopen 12/31)
1967 Puerto Rico placed on Atlantic Standard Time
1969 John Lennon returns OBE to protest UK's support for Vietnam War
1971 "Dan Cooper" jumps with $200,000 out of plane over Washington
1973 3 Palestinians hijack KLM B747 above Iraq, to Dubai and 61st CFL Grey Cup: Ottawa Rough Riders defeats Edmonton Eskimos, 22-18 and Bloodless military coup ousts Greek Pres George Papadopoulos
1975 Netherlands grants Suriname independence (Natl Day) and Portuguese leftist officers occupy 4 airbases
1976 OJ Simpson gains 273 yards for Buffalo vs Detroit and Viking 1 radio signal from Mars help prove genl theory of relativity
1977 David Steed balanced stationary on a bike for 9 hrs 15 mins and Thomas Hearns KOs Jerome Hill in 2 rounds in his 1st pro fight
1979 67th CFL Grey Cup: Edmonton Eskimos defeats Montreal Alouettes, 17-9 and American Airlines DC-10 crashes on takeoff from Chicago, kills 275 and Pittsburgh gains 606 net yards against Cleveland, winning 33-30 and Z Vavrova discovers asteroid #36281980 Coup in Burkina abolishes constitution and France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island and Sugar Ray Leonard defeats Duran regains WBC welterweight championship and Upper-Volta milt coup under Col Saye Zerbo, president Lamizana flees
1981 Failed coup by South African mercenaries in Seychelles1983 Soyuz T-9 returns to Earth, 149 days after take-off and Syria & Saudi Arabia announce cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli and World's greatest robbery-œ25,000,000 of gold, Heathrow, England
1984 Julio M Sanguinetti wins Uruguay presidential election and William Schroeder, becomes 2nd to receive Jarvik-7 artificial heart

1986 Iran-Contra affair erupts, Pres Reagan reveals secret arm deal

1988 Chuck Berry pays $250 fine to resolve NYC assault charges and Convention on exploitation of Antarctic mineral resources signed and US & Soviet chess grand masters Donaldson & Akhmilovskaya wed and Widespread earthquake hits NE US, Canada; no damage reported

1990 78th CFL Grey Cup: Winn Blue Bombers defeat Edmonton Eskimos, 50-11 and Lech Walesa wins in Poland's 1st popular election and NFL's NY Giants & SF 49ers after winning their 1st 10 games both lose, Phil Eagles beat Giants 31-13 & L.A. Rams beat 49ers 28-17

1993 Dutch Antilles govt of Liberia-Peters falls and Failed bomb attack on Egyptian premier Atef Sedki, 1 dead

1930 690 earthquake shocks recorded in one day. (Ito, Japan).

Will we do it ? - (24/11)

We had quite a good month in October as far as output was concerned - not as high as was expected, but none the less with lots of hard work clearing the intake it was our best month... but we want to do better and so with six and a half days left in November and the leaves still falling we are targeting ourselves in producing more electricity in November than we did in October.

By this morning we had generated 18232kWh for November which is about 7000 short of Octobers total - so watch this space - it will be close !

Friday, 21 November 2008

Its all systems go... - (22/11)

What an amazingly busy and productive time we are in :

Finance : A great response to our Invitation to invest, please keep those requests coming in.

Landscaping : This is set to commence (small bits have started already, but I mean diggers and exciting stuff) on 1 December, the site will be temporarily fenced off whilst work takes place..

Christmas Tree and lights - to be installed in the next week

AGM : Saturday 29 November

Daily stuff : Health and safety documentation, volunteer lists, intake clearing to name but a few of the things that the Directors are organising in the background.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A whole lot of power- (19/11)

With the screw currently churning out 45-48kW over the last few days then some time later this afternoon (Wednesday) we will pass through the milestone of 50,000 kWh or 50MWh - which is a whole lot of Watts - 50,000,000 to be exact !

Or 67,000 horse power in old money.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Jingle bells, jingle bells... - (15/11)

With Christmas a little only six weeks away New Mills is starting to enter into the Christmas spirit with the trees and lights due to go up outside the shops around town in the next week or so.

Torrs Hydro will be having a tree and LED 'Hydro' lights to match in with those in the town centre and the bracket for the tree will shortly be installed by Jeff Lawton and Mark Gadd from the New Mills Town Partnership.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Invitation to Invest - (14/11)

What a fantastic response from our existing shareholders with our Invitation to Invest which went out with the AGM notices at the end of last week - this will enable the construction part of landscaping project to commence in two weeks time.

If you are still interested in increasing your current share holding then follow the instructions in your AGM pack or email Richard at - remember that shareholders with shares of £500 or more will be able to offset their tax liability by 20% of the value of their shares at the end of this tax year which is a very good year 1 return on an investment in the current financial market.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Torrs Hydro in the news - (13/11)

A nice article written about Torrs Hydro in the publication Positive News which is a Global environmental and conservation ezine

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Archaeology report - (13/11)

Torrs Hydro have funded extra copies of the archaeology report on Torr Mill created by Archaeological Research Services - copies of this are now at New Mills Town Hall, New Mills Library, The New Mills Heritage and Information Centre, Torrs Hydro site and shortly to go to New Mills schools as well.
Torr Mill was destroyed by fire in 1912 and Torrs Hydro now lives in the same spot that the original wheel pit for the mill was situated.
The report is an excellent study on the findings of the archaeological study as the remains of the mill were gradually uncovered earlier in teh year.
If anyone is interested in owning a copy themselves please email me -

System outage - update (12/11)

We are now back up and running as of 8:30am this morning and currently producing 48kW of electricity - the problem with the brake has been escalated to the manufacturers in Germany.

This morning we hosted a group from Bamford Mill who are interested in creating a system to power the residential units in the mill.

System outage - update (11/11)

With a new PCB shipped up from Nigel at SCS overnight there was much rewiring during the day with the issue eventually traced back to the brake - the fix will be completed tomorrow morning with Dave and Stuart from Mann Power Consulting on site.

Monday, 10 November 2008

System outage - update (10/11)

Further investigations this morning point the problem to be with a circuit board in the control system, a replacement will be sent from SCS to Torrs Hydro overnight tonight and installed and configured by Torrs Hydro volunteers during the day tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

System outage - (09/11)

We currently have a system outage, which means the screw is not currently turning, this was caused by a mains failure earlier this evening - further updates to follow when the maintenance team have checked things out tomorrow morning.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Landscaping - (09/11)

Starting shortly Torrs Hydro will be working closely with New Mills Town Council to landscape the area around the Torrs Hydro site - the overall aim of this project will be to improve access to the screw and enhance the surrounding area whilst at the same time improving safety with additional fencing.

Torrs Hydro will provide a project report each week here on the blog - if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Torrs Hydro New Mills – Landscaping Project

Project background

The Torrs Hydro New Mills hydro site sited in the Torrs Riverside Park has been operational for nearly two months creating renewable energy that is used by the Coop store in New Mills. The site was developed on the site of Torr Mill which was destroyed by fire in 1912.

The aim of both THNM and New Mills Town Council is to retain, where possible, existing features of Torr Mill, whilst at the same time developing the area around the site for the benefit of New Mills and the increasing number of visitors to New Mills

Project definition
Working closely with New Mills Town Council (Steve Lewis), Torrs Hydro New Mills have agreed to undertake the following schedule of works as a ‘landscaping’ project to meet the advice and guidance and legal obligations communicated by the Health and Safety Executive (Eddie Tarn), High Peak Borough Council Planning (Ann Jordan) and New Mills Town Council.

The project will consist of installation of safety fencing to HSE guidelines, stone walling to help protect one of the original mill walls, stone paving to allow physical access near to the tail race end of the Archimedes screw, scarping and adjusting camber to roadway and landscaping works to improve the area around the site.

This works will enable safe viewing access to the Torrs Hydro New Mills site whilst also improving the area as an amenity to the general public.

Where possible local labour and materials will be sourced, this includes use of existing stones currently sited on the bank of River Sett/Goyt.

The landscaping will take place prior to the fencing and tail race mesh being installed.
Dependent on agreement of this schedule of works by New Mills Town Council, any subsequent agreement relating to legal undertakings and funding being available the landscaping can commence on Monday 11 November and is expected to take 5 weeks to complete, dependent on weather conditions. Fencing and the tail race mesh will take two weeks to fabricate and one week to install.
Project is anticipated to be completed by the end of January 2009.

Fencing and safety mesh
(Contractor - LSP, New Mills)
Fabricate ten mild steel fence panels each of 2.5 meters in length,1.4 metres in height, top and bottom cross bars, no central bar. Powder coated in zinc and then painted black to run alongside the pathway being created as part of the landscaping exercise.
Fencing to run from engine house, down the slope to new stone wall, totalling seven panels.
Fencing to also run from top of existing fish pass fencing to far side of intake, totalling three panels, 7.5 metres.
Fabricate supporting steel work and fix mesh cover to the area at the bottom of the screw, 15cm openings and bolted in place. To meet HSE advice on ‘arm reach’ through holes of 850mm. Powder coated in zinc and finished in green to match existing mesh.

(Contractor - Construction Projects, Mellor)
Install picnic bench, in same style as current bench. Bench to be sited close to existing bench and to be marked out by Steve Lewis.
Re site existing stone litter bin near to picnic benches, exact location to be marked out by Steve Lewis.
Using the four original wheel pit stones and rocks currently stored to the side of Torrs access road, re grade the sloped area leading down to the screw to give a rough ‘amphitheatre’ effect - this work is designed to reduce the gradient of the slope and make it more accessible.
Gravel all areas with the exception of the two banks, from the steps, across front of engine house up to margins as defined by Steve Lewis.
Gravel behind current steel fencing above the screw up to existing above ground mill walls.
Roadway into Torrs from Rock Tavern - scrape existing gravel from area below the top drain of the road so the camber is towards the river wall.

Tree surgery
(Contractor – S and S Trees, New Mills)
Tree removal to height of 12ft, of tree at tail race end of screw overlooking the River Sett.

(Contractor - Construction Projects, Mellor)
Using, where possible, existing local stone currently stored on far bank of River Sett/Goyt, create a stone wall from the existing river wall (in the corner nearest to the stone archway) along to the fourth fence post from the river, wall to be built to railing height and backfilled with sand to protect mill wall. Where required wall will be tied in with existing mill wall.

(Contractor - Construction Projects, Mellor)
Using, where possible, existing local stone currently stored on far bank of River Sett/Goyt, create a stepped path way running from the engine house to the bottom of the tail race. Pathway to be 4 feet wide.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Sunday Telegraph - (06/11)

For those that missed last Sundays Telegraph article on Torrs Hydro you can read it on line

Monday, 3 November 2008

Torrs Hydro New Mills reaches Moscow - (04/11)

Well we know we are the first community owned scheme in the UK and with that comes some great publicity for New Mills, but who would of thought we would have reached as far as Moscow ?

Eagle eyed Chris Elliot of Western Renewable Energy spotted this as he trawled through some global news sites.

We are now in contact with our Eastern friends to perhaps do a follow up report, maybe they have a Hydro scheme in Russia we can become twinned with ?

делает любой в новых заводах говорит русского ?

October - electricity produced - (03/11)

Production days 26.75 Non production days 4.25
1 days shutdown due to HSE request (1/10 to 2/10),
2 days shutdown due to high water (5 to 6/10)
0.25 days shutdown due to planned maintenance (16/10)
1 days shutdown due to high water, sluice gate sticking (27/10)

Total electricity produced 25.3 MWh
945.8 kWh average per production day (26.75), 816.1 kWh average per calendar day (31)
39.4 kW per hour per production day (26.75), 34.0 kW per hour per calendar day (31)

Daily - ongoing manual and visual system checks, ad hoc intake and fish pass clearing and bi-weekly mechanical checks and greasing performed by New Mills volunteers
16 October - Oil change completed with WRE and Mann Power Ltd, rubber fish protection buffers added to screw blades, control system software updated
27 October - Hydraulic pump pressure increased

So far Torrs Hydro New Mills has produced over 38 MWh of electricity which is the equivalent of 26 diesel trains full of passengers running from New Mills to Manchester and back !

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Invitation to Invest - (02/11)

Over the coming weeks Torrs Hydro New Mills will be landscaping, walling, fencing, gravelling and paving the area around 'Archie' in the Torrs Riverside Park - This will make the area safer and certainly more amenable and accessible to the public.

Work is expected top be completed by the end of January 2009, more details on the exact schedule of works towards the end of next week, but suffice to say it will look fantastic when completed and may even have a fish theme to it !

Everything though comes with a cost and this landscaping is not inconsiderable as far as costs go, but we are sure the end product will be worthwhile.

Many people passing 'Archie' have asked how can they get involved either as volunteers or financially - its quite simple :

If you live locally and wish to volunteer your services (activities will be varied I can assure you) then please email , Sean will then get in touch and add you to his 'volunteers' list.

If you wish to become a shareholder in the UK's first community owned renewable energy scheme (great Christmas present for someone !) or increase your current shareholding in Torrs Hydro New Mills so that you take advantage of the 20% tax break that will be active this year for our scheme then please email , Richard will then send you a copy of our 'Invitation to Invest' which details the options currently open to you.