Fish-friendly hydropower coup

An August ground-breaking ceremony for the Archimedes Screw being installed at the Old Swan & Minster Mill hotel.

OXFORDSHIRE-based Hallidays Hydropower was recently commissioned to undertake the three-month installation of an Archimedes Screw at the Old Swan & Minster Mill, a hotel in the Cotswolds located beside the River Windrush.

With a price tag of £200,000, the giant turbine is expected to be operating and producing energy from the river by October. A significant green energy commitment, the Old Swan & Minster Mill claims to be the first hotel in the country to have the “fish friendly” technology, which has been selected for its low impact on the river’s ecosystem and its efficient energy production. A fish pass will also be developed as part of the scheme to improve fish spawning grounds.
Based on Archimedes’ ancient screw pump design, the two by five meter screw is turned as water flows through it, activating the turbine and harnessing up to 87 per cent of the energy from the falling water. The technology enables the scheme to give a peak output of 10 kW and generate power of 48,000kwh/year. The installation is said to be indicative of a UK-wide trend towards ‘micro hydro’, as landowners look to opportunities to generate income through the Feed-in Tariff.