by Jim Hunter
THE long-awaited hydro-electric power installation planned at Woolston Weir since 2013 is finally getting under way.
The scheme which complements the Environment Agency flood defences is being undertaken by Czech company Hydropol and work has begun clearing the site for the arrival of the equipment starting this week.
This renewable energy electricity source will provide sufficient power for 380 typical UK homes and will effectively save in the region of 750 Tonnes of CO2 per year.
The installation will comprise of three Archimedes screw design turbines which are fish friendly. There will also be an improved and brand new fish pass allowing salmon, coarse fish and eels to pass through unharmed.
Locally available national grid connections means there is no need for pylons and there is sufficient separation from residential properties to ensure no operational noise pollution.
It is situated on the opposite bank of the river from Woolston Eyes so poses no threat to any of the wildlife on the local SSSI.
Main construction is planned between August 2020 and January 2021 with turbine delivery in early 2021 and project completion around April 2021.