November Updates

Greetings from the Hydro team! We now have a viable financial model and we will be issuing the full public share offer shortly after Christmas. Detailed plans for the Twin Archimedes screws are being drawn up as we speak and we hope to place an order for these as soon as funds have been raised! Construction will hopefully begin early summer 2020 so things to look forward to!


Announcing the Launch of Reading Hydro Pioneer Share Offer

We’re excited to announce the launch of our Pioneer Share Offer for Reading Hydro CBS. This is an initial investment round to support the early stages, including outline design work to ensure the viability of the project. You can support and invest in Reading Hdyro here!

Our Initial Pioneer Shares

We have got as far as we can supported by initial grants from the Reading Climate Change Partnership and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (now BEIS). All alongside countless hours from the support and work of our wonderful volunteers and growing community (that’s you).


Now we need to move quickly to the next stages! The government is ending the Feed In Tariff for renewable energy at the end of March 2019. In order to secure this extra income, essential for the viability for the project, we must register our scheme with Ofgem before then. We are working to achieve all the necessary permissions. In parallel we are commissioning an Outline Design for the project by an experienced contractor.

You can buy into our Pioneer Share Offer to kick start this project work. This will cover project permissions costs and the commissioning of the outline scheme design.

After all this we will be able to do a full design for the project, make our Main Community Share Offer, and build the scheme.

Without the money raised from this Pioneer Share Offer the project won’t happen for years.

All Pioneer Share owners will be members with a vote in our Community Benefit Society, be eligible to have their investment repaid over time once the scheme is up and running, and gain other perks along the way. If the scheme cannot be built the Pioneer Shares will not be able to be paid back.

Your money is at risk if the project fails; your support makes it more likely we will succeed.


JOIN US AT READING TOWN MEAL – 29th September 2018

There’s a distinct chill to the air, the leaves are turning hues of gold and rust red, drifting and floating down the river. Alongside this the squash are ripening! This means its most definitely Autumn and it’s time for the glorious Reading Town Meal .

This year, we’re delighted to be teaming up with The Reading Sustainability Centre to be popping-up in Forbury Gardens on Saturday the 29th of September from 12 to 4pm.

Alongside the delicious free veggie food that will be distributed, cooked by Reading College catering students and made from donated veggies from local allotment holders and home growers. There will be lots of interesting workshops, stalls, live music and yes, us, to come and chat to and share your eco waste and energy tips that we’ll be harvesting for Reading.

It will be a chance to chat with us to find out more about both organisations, where we’re up to with the project, as well as join as a member or get involved volunteering to help make Reading more sustainable.

We’ll give you a little tip in advance. Make sure you’re there early as the food goes fast!


It’s been a busy couple of months for Reading Hydro since our AGM at the end of March.

Firstly we want to say thank you to all who joined us there, voted, ate cake and helped us take Reading Hydro forward. Alongside this a huge and overdue welcome to all our new members that joined that evening and since. Apologies for our slow response in sharing more information about what we’ve been up to since then, alongside the different ways you can get involved:

To name a few:

There’s our facebook group where all can share ideas, inspiration and events (whether you’re a member or not). You can also follow and interact on our various social medis platforms, Twitter and Instagram. You can also ping us @rdgHydro or #rdgukHydro and we’ll pick up what you’re sharing (we love anything around the river, on the river, incolving the community, environment and renewable energy).

We’ve been holding monthly action evenings although in the last months have interspersed this with being and taking part at some events andworking on our plans.

As well as this, members can also opt in to join our slack working group communication, if you want to get active on particular topics. A key one at the moment is further publicty and communication support, digital online, graphic design, social media and community building.

Sun and Smiles on Bean Pole Day

No it wasn’t a spelling mistake in the title. Last month we took part in a wonderful yearly event held in the beautiful Caversham Court grounds. Bean Pole day, put on by Reading’s and Berkshire’s EcoNet conservation volunteers.

What is Bean Pole day, I hear you say? Well it’s an opportunity to buy Bean Poles (long thin peices of wood) as well as peas sticks, that you will be able to use to truss your beans and peas to.

Alongside this there were a whole host of local growing and green, ethical groups inlcuding growers from Tilehurst, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice now, the Reading Beekeepers and Food 4 Familes.

” But this seems to be something that would be too good to be true in Reading” – New member 

We had a great time sharing what we’re up to at Reading Hydro as well as welcoming new member to the Community Benefit Society.  A definite event to look out for and attend next year (especially when the sun shines)!

Hydro Field Trip

Members of the team and some of our wider board of experts also undertook a trip to the wilds of Cambridgeshire to visit a hydro scheme under development at the moment at Eaton Socon.

Here they are actually implementing the same VerdErg Venturi Enhanced Turbine Technology that we are looking at implementing in Reading. Like us, the part of the River Great Ouse that it is being implemented in has a low head of 1.4m.

It’s actually being installed right beside The River Mill pub that was the old mill there, so soon the pub will be getting much of it’s electricity from renewable hydro power and in a lovely sort of way, reclaiming it’s original heritage. We can’t wait to see it working later this year.

Planning Planning

The great thing about Reading Hydro is  seeing the different skills and support from our members and team that come forward to help with certain aspects.

Over the last number of Action Evenings, we’d been focusing on planning and structuring the different tasks. Ultimately ensuring that all the activities were documented and the flow of getting to building the Hydro were captured.

Recently we got together and restructured and detailed our planning and now have our Project Control Centre  or PCC, (as all good engineering projects should be filled with acronyms), up and running. Particular thanks to all who have been involved with this. 

Look Out For Our GDPR Communication and Updates

By now you’ve no doubt been unundated by countless emails from organisations, asking you to reconfirm you’d still like to hear from  them, alongside our own.

For those of you who are members, as part of your membership is our communication to you on Reading Hydro and key events such as our AGM, so this additional email is primariliy related to our wider supporters who may not be members. Howevere, it’s quick and easy though to review and update your email details (or even sign up to our newsletter if not already) here.

We look forward to collaborating and sharing more with our growing community.