Sunday, 28 December 2008

Highest Production - (28/12)

With three days left of the month we have just passed our highest monthly production total since we started back in September - see the totals on the right hand side of your screen.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas from Archie - (25/12)

The River Goyt earlier this year

Archie spun his way through Christmas day producing 49 kilowatts of electricity an hour.

Already this year over 84,000 Kilowatt hours of electricity have been produced enough to have cooked your Christmas dinner 50,000 times over.

Happy Christmas to you all from Archie and The Directors of Torrs Hydro New Mills

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Remote monitoring - Radius UK - (18/12)

Yesterday saw the completion of an amazing piece of work by Radius UK who are a world leading organisation in remote monitoring systems.

Torrs Hydro New Mills now have 'real time' radio connectivity between 'Archies' engine house and the New Mills Heritage Centre - information is displayed on a flat screen monitor in the Heritage Centre and will show, amongst other things, current power output, cumulative power output, battery charge, water height, door access - it really is brilliant !
There is also the potential to monitor additional elements of the scheme as well including the fish pass - who says New Mills isn't in the 21st Century !

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Introductions - Lorrie Marchington - (17/12)

The final member of our new team is Lorrie Marchington who has a profound interest and commitment to renewable energy and cooperative principles. She is a long-standing member of many green organisations (Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Women’s Environmental Network, etc) and a cooperative member using the phone coop, smile banking, SUMA and cooperative retail. She was also an original investor in the first two windfarm cooperatives.

When the opportunity arose to promote a local scheme, she was keen to become actively involved. Lorrie is particularly keen to help develop communications in the community and with shareholders, and to promote initiatives to pump-prime renewables, both to students and the population at large.

She has lived in New Mills for over 15 years and works part time at The University of Manchester.

Can you help ? (14/12)

Our friends up at Settle who are attempting to install a similar community run Hydro scheme would like some assistance in convincing their local planning department of the ongoing benefits of such schemes; renewable energy, benefits to community projects, a positive additional focus on local rivers, attracting many new visitors to name but a few - the main concerns in the initial planning rejection relate to the fish population - considerable testing in controlled environments has taken place with no negative impact to the fish population.

Below is the link where you can add your comments to help support the scheme :-

Ann Harding who is Chair of Settle Hydro says,

"If you have 60 seconds to spare could you please, please, follow the link above and
register your comments in support of the Settle Hydro Planning application. WE NEED
AS MANY AS POSSIBLE , as soon as possible, so please forward to anyone else on your
address list who may help .

That is, of course, if you believe in clean green electricity, produced in a
sustainable safe way (its very very very safe for the fishes too), with minimal
visual impact (all you'll see is a small stone clad building the size of a garden
shed - the screw is near the mill race - not in the middle of the river or on the
fish pass!!) tackling CO2 emissions, and with a fair division of profits between
shareholders and community. Please support this project which isn't just asking for
more and more grant and public money - but making a positive sustainable
business which will support other projects for tens of years to come.

If you don't do anything else for the world this Christmas please do this!!"

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Introductions - Simon Clayton - (11/12)

Our third new Director is Simon Clayton who is tremendously impressed by the achievements of THNM so far.

He was a senior manager at an international consultancy firm and now runs a small start-up.

With significant experience of both business advisory and project management and holds a Masters degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Technology.

He possesses highly relevant skills and has a real willingness to get involved with the day to day operations of Torrs Hydro and looks forward to assisting in driving the company forward and to promote its expertise in support of similar projects.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Introductions - Mary Cohen - (10/12)

Moving on to the second our newly elected Directors :

Mary is a primary school teacher at a school in New Mills, and with 10 years+ experience has provided her with a wide range of local contacts and community resources, particularly in the field of education.

Mary is interested in passing on the responsibility of local self-sustaining initiatives to the young people of New Mills through educational activities and feels we can all build on the fantastic profile of innovation already shown in New Mills, (Millennium walkway etc) that gives the town an optimistic 21st century future, without forgetting its industrial past.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Introductions - Wil Grifin - (09/12)

Over the next couple of weeks I'll introduce the new team that was voted in at this years AGM - we're a mixed bag to say the least, but with a combination of skills to build on the success of 2008 - firstly let me introduce Will Griffin with a few of his own words :

"I am delighted New Mills has the hydro scheme because it can be used to promote renewable energy. I have worked as a ranger since 1989 on project management, environmental education and site care work. I volunteer for “Sticky Exhibits”, a company that promotes renewable energy and acts as a library of environmental displays and models."

Will (I'm very pleased to say) is a 'hands on' chap and is already sharing in the daily system checks down at the screw.

Landscaping - (08/12)

Despite the bad weather conditions over the last week the landscaping project is progressing well.

The 'amphitheatre' banking is now completed and today sees scaffolding being erected at the tail race end of the screw for the wall to be built.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Made in New Mills - (05/12)

Saturday 6 December.

Where else could you view or buy original pieces of art, craft and jewellery for Christmas presents and at the same time listen to Flamenco music played on a guitar whilst relaxing with a nice drink - only in New Mills !

This Saturday between 10:30am and 3:30pm at the Providence United Reform Church, Mellor Road, New Mills a group of local artists will be exhibiting and demonstrating their work, so come along and say hello.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Guardian - (04/12)

There was a nice little piece about New Mills/Torrs Hydro in yesterdays Guardian (page 30) or on the link below for those that don't read The Guardian

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

November electricity produced - (04/12)

November : Monthly summary
Production days 27 Non production days 3
2.5 days shutdown due to brake/sluice and power disconnect issues (10-11/11),
0.5 days shutdown due to electrical disconnects (16/11)

Total electricity produced 24.2 MWh
896.3 kWh average per production day (27), 806.6 kWh average per calendar day (30)
37.4 kW per hour per production day (27), 33.6 kW per hour per calendar day (30)

Daily - ongoing manual and visual system checks, adhoc intake and fish pass clearing and bi-weekly mechanical checks and greasing performed by New Mills volunteers – additional intake clearing was required in November due to the amount of falling leaves
10-11 November – Replacement PCB supplied and tested after brake/power disconnect issues
16 November – tested auto shutdown.


In December we will be starting our landscaping project and also connecting the engine house to the New Mills Heritage Centre to allow a remote view of what is happening with the screw.

So far (December 4) since the screw started it has produced over 63 MWh of electricity.

Putting pen to paper - (04/12)

After putting all the legal documents to rest (lease, power purchase agreements to name but two...) it was time for Torrs Hydro New Mills (Sean Whewell) and The Co-op Bank (Mark Draper) to put pen to paper to seal the start of what will be a long term relationship between the two organisations.

Not only are the Co-op Group purchasing our electricity they have been heavily involved throughout having partly funded the scheme with grants and with the loan from the Co-op Bank.

Landscaping - (03/12)

Despite the New Mills Arctic conditions the landscaping has now started with initial work designed to transform the banking into an amphitheatre area that can be used during the warmer months (believe me there will be some...) for sitting on and admiring the view of the weir and screw.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

All those in favour say 'Aye' - (03/12)

A few more pics from Saturdays packed AGM - with unanimous voting, healthy question and answer sessions (and the odd Powerpoint slide) - not to mention a nice cup of tea and some biscuits !

Brrrrr - (2/12)

Its cold today down by the screw !

AGM - (2/12)

Some pics taken by one of our shareholders during one of the tours of the site after the AGM.

Monday, 1 December 2008

System outage - (01/12)

There was a short outage earlier today caused by the National Grid voltage being outside the threshold we are producing - when this happens the control system automatically disconnects the screw from the Co-op and the grid until the voltages match again and the system is brought up a in a controlled fashion.

The sub zero (-7oC this morning) temperatures being experienced in the Torrs don't have any adverse effect on the screw, but do create some amazing icicles in and around the mesh.