Project Manager’s Update in Parish Prattle

I am pleased to report that the two turbines are running well after an interesting year – as whilst we were running again 4th February after the December 2015 (a 1 in 1,000 year?) flood event it has taken to mid September to sort out peripheral damage.
Recovery costs have been covered mostly by insurance, and LCC grants have enabled resilience measures that bring the installation close to being indestructible in very high river flows.
Some of the associated work has been installing our four, three quarter ton, steel plates at the inlet, to drain down and remove the balance of stone blocking inlet screens that machinery could not access.
This was by hand, and with very welcome support from volunteers happy to fill large plastic buckets with stone and drag them through sluice gates back to the river. Not an easy task, as August was a generally wet month and the stone was under about two foot of water owing to the higher than preferred downstream river level – although seemingly, a good time playing in water was had by all, and thanks to those able to spent the few days with us.
Other activities have been to run for the second year (and hopefully the last) at reduced power for two weeks, twice, with a “fyke” that’s emptied daily, over a turbine outlet to demonstrate that there is no damage to elver or other fish – and indeed, no such damage, as the basic hydro design, with this in mind, seems to be working well. Further Environment Licence conditions have been fish counting, video validation and trapping with size, weight and scale samples, so plenty going on.
Another facet is visitors; being those walking by and calling in, as well as organised visits by various groups, including school parties, with 178 formal visitors recorded from April through to the end of August.
You will already be aware from the last Prattle that reasonable sums have gone to the Halton Lune Trust to distribute to the local community for worthy causes – and despite not yet having had a “normal” year with two turbines, further amounts and investor interest is budgeted.
John Blowes Chairman and Project Manager

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