Thursday, 9 December 2010

Fishing at 8:00am on a winters monring

A great sighting and very good pictures, taken this morning by one of the Torrs Hydro volunteers (David King) of a young cormorant feeding off the rocks near to where the rivers Sett and Goyt meet at Torrs Hydro - the young bird obviously knows a good spot to fish when he see's one as it's also a favourite spot for local anglers - but not at 8:00am on a cold winters morning !

You will often see cormorants with their wings outstretched (as in the picture below) - they do this to dry their feathers out, as despite being a diving bird their feathers aren't very waterproof.

If you have any other finds of flora or fauna pictures in the area please feel free to send them to

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Hydropower - a guide for your community

An excellent guide has been produced to help groups considering similar projects to Torrs Hydro - follow this link for further details

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Carbon Co-op events

Community Renewables Finance SchoolWeds 24th November/1st December/8th December 2010, Manchester

Do you dream of installing a small scale hydro project or wind turbine where you live, but don't know where to start? Is your community building crying out for a biomass boiler or a set of solar panels? Have you heard about feed in tariffs, heat incentives and paybacks and wondered whether your voluntary organisation could benefit?.

This winter,
Carbon Co-op and Carbon Leapfrog are running a series of masterclass sessions, practical, how-to guides for people interested in low carbon projects that will transform their communities and their environment. Each session features advice from a panel of professional experts from around the North West and the City of London. The emphasis of the programme is on sharing knowledge and experience and on practical solutions.

1. Inspiring Communities - engagement and planning
10.30-4pm, Wednesday 24th November 2010
Featuring a series of case studies, identifying key pitfalls and looking at monitoring. Featuring: getting going, communications, footprinting and engagement, renewables assessments, finance planning for communities and legal structures.

2. Finance and legal issues
10.30-4pm, Wednesday 1st December 2010
Governance issues, tax advice, options for investment, benefiting from incentives such as Feed In Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentives, the co-operative way, community finance options and project planning for finance.

3. Installation and maintenance
10.30-4pm, Wednesday 8th December 2010
Practical advice on low carbon technologies. Running and sustaining a project long term. Featuring a series of case studies/pitfalls/monitoring
Followed by Fuelling Manchester - a social event for renewables projects in Manchester at a venue tba.


The masterclasses will be held at Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab), 40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN.

How to book
Places are free but limited and demand is high.
To book a place email or call 0161 408 6492 .

You can book onto one or all sessions. Lunch is provided free of charge.

To confirm your place we require a returnable cheque for £40 dated after 8th December 2010 and made out to Carbon Co-op as a deposit. When you attend the workshop the cheque will be returned to you.

A limited number of travel bursaries are available to subsidise travel from outside the Greater Manchester region. Contact us for more information.

More information on the events and the latest experts:

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Smile please !

Over the next few weeks Torrs Hydro will be working with our friends at the Environment Agency to look at the feasibility of putting cameras in the fish pass to take images of fish as they migrate up river to spawn - watch this space for more details.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Archie meets the Minister for Climate Change

What a busy day - Ministerial visits, TV crews, radio interviews, cameras - you name it and Archie did it !

We were honoured to host a visit by Greg Barker (Minister for Climate Change) and the Regional Director for the Environment Agency - as well as visiting Torrs Hydro they visited the Co-op before moving on to New Mills Town Hall for the Minister to formally announce ways in which the Government are going to help support schemes like Archie.

Check out the evening ITV news and tomorrows papers as we get a really good mention.

Friday, 17 September 2010

300,000 and counting

With the long hot summer almost over and the rivers Goyt and Sett flowing nicely again Archie has been spinning away over the last few days and has produced as much renewable energy in 4 days as was produced in the previous 4 months - long may it continue

PS Is there still a hosepipe ban ?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

New Mills Festival - 10 to 26 September

New Mills Festival takes place from Friday 10th to Sunday 26th of September with events and activities to suit everyone, including the amazing lantern procession and a Torrs Hydro Open Day - please take a look a look at the program and make sure you get some of the events in your diary

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Worse than 1976

Even though we have had some good rain fall this week in New Mills the drought continues and in areas is said to be worse than 1976 - one stretch of the Leeds - Liverpool canal is set to shut for the first time since 1929 with reservoir water levels at only 10% of their seasonal levels.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Long overdue

With the first 'real' rain for weeks and weeks this week looks like it could see Archie back in action by Friday.

If the forecast is anything to go by then we are in for 3-4 days of heavy rain, which isn't enough to fill the reservoirs or end the hose pipe ban, but should possibly see renewable energy being produced in New Mills again.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Drought warning

Drought Permit Application have been submitted for Longdendale today. The application will be published in local papers (Tameside and Glossop Advertiser and Manchester Evening News) and will be available for viewing at Glossop Library.

Main impact will be the amount of water released from the Longdendales reservoirs into the river Etherow - there is no direct impact on Archie, however as you cal see from the weir the rivers Goyt and Sett are very very low

You can access the Environmental Impact Assessment Report from here

Saturday, 3 July 2010

One World Festival - today !

New Mills 'One World Fetsival' starts today at midday in High Lee Park New Mills.

With lots to see and do, eat and drink as well as some fantastic live music its a great place to spend a few hours and as an added bonus its going to be warm and sunny !!

Anyone interested in Torrs Hydro can take part in one of the tours that will be taking place throughout the afternoon.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Weir still waiting for rain !

Its now two months since we had sufficient rain to set Archie spinning - although with ths New Mills One World Festival fast approaching we can probably forecast a downpour (hope not !)

Renewable energy generation as a whole was down 7% for the first 3 months of this year with nearly half of that loss attributable to low river levels across the country in particualr Scotland.

There is a downpour forecast for Friday morning but it needs something more than an hours rain to raise river levels.

The picture below shows Archie's weir now showing through the River Goyt.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Viva Englandia

Well 'Archie' might not be spinning at the moment due to the drought (it was a similar story last year) but one thing that is full of energy is White Van Man from new Mills singing "Viva Englandia"a catchy number to support Englands efforts in South Africa - take a listen :

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Stockport Hydro

Our friends at Water Power Enterprises are hosting an open evening tonight to publicise Stockport Hydro at Stockport Town Hall at 7pm, with refreshments from 6.30pm.

There’ll be exhibition boards and video footage and an opportunity to ask questions.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Read all about it...

This week we have installed two interpretation boards next to Archie.

The boards have been designed with input form ourselves the Environment Agency and New Mills Town Council - one gives details about Archie and why he is here and what he does and the second positioned facing the weir covers the flora and fauna in the area - please let us know what you think.

Enormous thanks to the Environment Agency without whose help or funding this would not have happened.

Kingfishers have been spotted in the last couple of days collecting food for their young from 'the square' (at the bottom of the cobbles heading into the Torrs from New Mills heading towards where the rivers Goyt and Sett meet next to Archie - please see other recent posts on other recent sights.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

If you go down to the Torrs today...

It's not often that we see young fawn deer in New Mills - but there have been several sightings over the last couple of days in between the Millennium Walkway and the leisure Centre - more than likely an escapee from Lyme Park estate.

Take care if trying to watch it though as when they move there is nothing going to get in their way and that includes you.

Monday, 3 May 2010

"Power to the People"

It's interesting to note that many of our prospective councilors and MP's have chosen to use Torrs Hydro as a backdrop for pictures on their campaign literature and made mention of the scheme in one way, shape or form as well.

I think it's very important to remind our shareholders and the general public that Torrs Hydro is of course a Community scheme and does not have any connections in any way with any political party.

"Power to the People"
Citizen Smith, Tooting Popular Front, 1977

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sheffield University a place to dye for...

Researchers from the University of Sheffield were out at New Mills last the weekend carrying out flow tests on the river.

The work as part of their hydro power research is studying 'Archie' to gain a better understanding of the post installation efficiency of low head hydro power turbines.

In order to understand how Archie is really performing good quality records of flow data are required at the site. Equipment has been installed permanently in the river to monitor the flow continuously over the next year but this requires calibration to give values of flow.

The tests at the weekend were the first of several to do this using a process called ‘dilution gauging’. This involves injecting red dye of known concentration into the river and measuring the concentration downstream over a few hours, from this the flow in the river can be calculated.

The work has been agreed with the Environment Agency and is totally harmless to flora and fauna.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Interesting CO2 facts about these last few days

Whilst I'm stuck out in Norway with no options of getting back to the UK I spotted some interesting info showing how much CO2 has been emitted by Volcano Eyjajjallajoekull (try spelling that one first time) in Iceland compared with the amount saved by substantial reduction in air traffic.

Take a look for yourself

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Nesting time

Those of you that spend a lot of time in and around the Torrs will know that this time of year is a hive of activity for our feathered friends.

Many birds and water fowl are now hunting for mates and for that perfect nesting site - many can be seen in and around Archie - dippers are nesting in the walls next to the weir (can be spotted from the stone bridge), blue and great tits are nesting in the stone walls underneath Union Road bridge.

The Mallards (above) haven't quite decided where their new homes will be but there are several pairs in and around the weir looking for that perfect spot !

Monday, 29 March 2010

The seeds of our future

What felt like most of New Mills Primary school children descended upon 'Archie' and the surrounding areas recently to be given a tour of the site and to also help the Environment Agency and New Mills Town Council in planting hundreds of plants and thousands of seeds.

The highlight of the day for me is when they spontaneously started chanting 'Archie'... 'Archie'....

Well done everyone.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Planting time - or Spring has sprung !

Tomorrow (Monday 15 March) will see plenty of activity around 'Archie' in the Torrs from 10:00am onwards with lots of children from local schools helping New Mills Town Council and Torrs Hydro staff in plating the surrounding areas with  species typicle to riverside environments - the weather is set to be good so why not pop down.

Funding for the planting has come from our good friends at the Environemnt Agency.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Audit time

After a succesful 'open day' last weekend today we had the pleasure of hosting a team from the Environment Agency.

Their task was to audit and review the way Torrs Hydro monitor and manage the extraction of water from the river through 'Archie' and back into the river.

After seeing how the scheme works and the water levels are monitored we reviewed the data that is collected every minute showing the level of water going over the weir, amount of power generated etc

Initial feedback is that we run a very tight ship and our record keeping is very precise, helped enormously by the automated system.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A day out in New Mills !

Following the success of last years Torrs Hydro tours we are delighted to announce our programme of open afternoons for 2010.

All run from 1 - 3pm and are free - the first one in just over a weeks time !

Come and visit Torrs Hydro New Mills and see how we generate clean, green energy and maybe spend some time on some of the many fantastic walks in the area or see some of the local sights (Millenium walkway), visit the heritage Centre, visit New Mills Original  :

Sunday 28th February
Saturday 27th March
Sunday 25th April
Saturday 3rd July
Saturday 4th September
Saturday 30th October
Sunday 28th November

Monday, 15 February 2010

Sheffield University

11 under graduates studying architecture at Sheffield University visited Archie on Tuesday last week with their lecturer as part their introduction to a new project that will encompass renewable energy.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Right here, right now - Archies busy !

Well the snow has all but melted leaving lots of water in the Rivers Sett and Goyt to power Archie.

If your ever wondering how much power Archie is producing 'right now' or your planning a visit and want to see if Archie is riunning then go to the Torrs Hydro new web site and take a look at the top line you can see straight away.

So currently as I wrote this Archie is producing 49.2 kWh

Nice one Archie !

Monday, 11 January 2010

Torrs Hydro dot org !

The recent cold snap (see satelite pic above), whilst making New Mills and the surrounding area look very beautiful, has also meant low water in the rivers - that is just about to change as the freeze turns to a thaw and Archie will be spinning in the next 24 hours.

Torrs Hydro now has a new web site from today - take a look and let us know what you think

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year from Archie

As we all celebrated the passing of 2009 Archie was busy breaking records - in December we have beaten all previous months producing over 32,000 kWh.

The weather has been favourable but the valiant efforts of our Directors and volunteers, often in sub zero temperatures, have ensured the poor production figures earlier in the year can be pushed to one side.

Planning meetings continue for the instalation of interpretation boards and signage in New Mills as do plans for planting the areas around Archie. More of that in the coming days as we will need help in planting thousands of seeds, plants and bulbs which will further transform the area.