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Green Power

Our reverse Archimedes screw turbine (known as Archie) is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Sett and the Goyt. Since he started generating in the summer of 2008, Archie has produced over 1,926 MWh of clean, green electricity that is sent directly to the nearby Co-op supermarket. Any surplus is fed into the National Grid.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Archie is back in action! Early on the morning of Sunday April 14th Archie experienced an abrupt power outage that sent his electronic control system into a complete meltdown, requiring a total shutdown. Once we had established what exactly happened, we identified the parts whose function might have been compromised and then sent the heavy duty electrical parts that were not serviceable by us off to be refurbished. These were reinstalled on Monday May 13th by the professionals and after project volunteers had installed new belts we were able to (cautiously!) restart. We have learned a lot from this experience and have introduced additional measures that should prevent this happening again.  

    This shutdown has been particularly disappointing as April was shaping up to be another record-breaker, with the 13,994 kWh already produced taking us to a grand total of 1,926,283 kWh. Archie is now running again, but the recent improvement in the weather means the water level in the Sett is dropping back to its seasonal norm and hence the output is considerably lower than it was in the early months of this year.  

  • Power produced in April 2024: 13,994 kWh (just under 14 MWh).
  • Power produced in March 2024: 31,749 kWh (just under 32 MWh), our eighth best generating month ever. The river was running at just the “right height”, and as the storms the previous couple of months had already washed down a lot of the debris that normally accumulates in the intake we lost only a small amount of running time to clearance operations this month.
  • We had one (very short) shutdown in March to enable us to install a new battery, which is needed to control the sluice gate. The old one, which had been in place for a long time, had reached the end of its useful life.
  • Power produced in 2023: 199,000 kWh (199 MWh) exactly.
  • Total power produced since we began generating in September 2008: 1,926.994 MWh
  • Carbon saved so far: a bit over 451 metric tonnes.                                                                  Note: This figure is based on the 2022 average for the National Grid of 236 g/kWh; it is now down to about half that (for more precise data, visit electricityinfo.org). When we began generating in September 2008 the National Grid had a much worse carbon footprint, however, so this figure is still a very conservative estimate.

The autumn usually signals the start of our best generation period, but in 2023 the rain started early and the very wet August meant that we had to defer the preventative maintenance we had intended to carry out that month. The river is likely to remain too high until next summer for us to work safely on the bottom bearing (which would benefit from some TLC), and the sandbags required for this will remain stored on top of the cage until the work can finally proceed. We shall just have to wait and see what the weather gods have in store for us next summer.

2024 AGM

This year’s AGM is on Saturday 27th April 2024
The details are here AGM 2024

15 Years’ Clean, Green Energy!

We celebrated Archie’s 15th “birthday” on Saturday, September 30th 2023 down at the site. It poured it down, which seems appropriate as this is the kind of weather Archie loves! Not so great for the volunteers present, although slightly damp cake still tastes good, and spirits (of the non-alcoholic variety) remained high. We have come a long way in the last 15 years.

Torrs Hydro New Mills Limited

Torrs Hydro New Mills Limited is a Community Benefit Society incorporated in 2007. We are collectively and democratically owned by its members, and it is thanks to our members’ investment in withdrawable, community shares (i.e. very distinct from the transferable shares of a private or public company), as well as some grant funding, that the capital was raised to build the plant.
Back in 2007 we were almost unique in raising community share capital.
Learn more about the society, including the Annual Reports that describe important events in each year and each year’s Financial Report.

Community Power

Torrs Hydro is an example of the power of communities to take action and begin to address the challenges that climate change presents to us all. We are a community owned and community funded organisation. 

Volunteers

Torrs Hydro is run entirely by volunteers. Amongst them are engineers, health and safety specialists, teachers, community workers, computer whizz kids etc, etc, basically just ordinary folk with a passion for green technology. Do you have time to spare to help Archie?

  • The daily checks on the site
  • Work parties to unblock and clean up Archie
  • Show organised groups around the site (mostly Monday to Friday)
  • The administration of our Community Benefit Society

If you are interested please contact the Secretary – secretary@torrshydro.org