HYDRO REFLECTIONS

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Reading to have a Hydro Energy scheme on Caversham Weir that would be able to fund and support sustainability community projects in Reading?

Only a few years ago, in 2013, this was the origins of the idea being explored the Transition Town Reading Energy Group. Like all good ideas, it has developed over time and gone with the flow.

A brief history of Reading Hydro

From this, in January 2014 Reading Sustainability Centre launched out of the Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN) as a community group. It was then  formalised as The Reading Sustainability Centre CIC in January 2015 and was able to apply for and be awarded grants from several local charities and the Urban Community Energy Fund, to explore and develop the hydro project further.

Securing the Site

This enabled the Reading Hydro Project to

A planning permission celebration picnic

invest the time and energy into assessing and getting all the Environmental requirements together for obtaining the Environment licences in 2016.

The last big milestone happened in the spring of 2017 when planning permission was finally granted to allow the scheme to be built at Caversham Weir.

Becoming an Independent Organisation

In 2017 Reading Hydro also moved from being a project under The Reading Sustainability Centre into a stand alone Community Benefit Society (CBS), in readiness for the launch of a public share offer to raise the capital necessary to build the scheme.

Growing our Community

From an initial 4 directors, 2017 saw us growing to 6,  bringing a range of skills and enthusiasm to the team. Alongside this, and perhaps more importantly, we’ve seen our membership grow to now over 50, and with a number of active volunteers supporting in areas from publicity and logo design to technical advice and funding applications. Members and supporters are now able to get involved during one of our Open Action Evenings  , through discussions on our facebook group interact via Twitter, Instagram and get updates via our website and newsletters. We’re also connecting with schools and are looking forward to working with the ORSAnauts on renewable energy projects.

Bringing Renewable Energy to 2018!

What will 2018 bring for Reading Hydro?  We look forward to developing it further with our active volunteers, supporting members and the local community! Join us at our next Open Action Evening.

SEASONAL HYDRO GREETINGS

Happy Hydro Festivities! – gif Hydro Sparkle – credit volunteer Nicky Johnson Designs

A huge thanks to all our volunteers, members and supporters for helping Reading Hydro progress so much in 2017.

Here’s to an amazing and energy filled (renewable) 2018 where we’ve already got some exciting plans in the “pipeline” from your ideas (so better recharge those batteries before):

  • Working with schools on educational resources and activities
  • Building awareness through open data and signage in collaboration with The Things Network Reading
  • Supporting the environment through enhanced Fish Passes
  • Ensuring financially and environmentally viable by finalising the preferred tech
  • Monthly Open Action Evenings and  Socials
  • Community and fundraising events – quiz’s, walks, runs, picnics, riverside photography competitions……and?

Don’t forget, there are loads of ways you can get involved and support bringing Renewable Hydro Community Energy to Reading.