|Awaiting final finishing but already generating - the Hydro|
At Osney, the Thames splinters between various streams and both projects are centred around these streams. Back down at Osney Lock, a fancy modern building is in its finishing stages. It houses the Osney Lock Hydro, a hydro-electric scheme based on the Archimedian Screw principle we've seen in similar action elsewhere.
|The system uses the Archemedian Screw principle|
It's estimated that the hydro will generate 159,000kWh of electric a year, most being sold to the Environment Agency and the remainder to the Grid. It'll save 83 tonnes of CO2 a year. Over the project's life it will also generate £2m of income which will go to community sustainability projects, as well as paying a projected modest (4%) return on investment for the members.
Which is all very nice and very worthy but, putting my cynic's hat on, isn't this a group of well off, professional people who've probably got pretty high carbon footprints doing a bit of conscience assuaging?
|Is it a waste dump? No it's another community project|
On it they are, it seems, attempting to create a 'circular economy', circulating and re-using items as far as possible and returning other suitable material to the 'biosphere'.
|Stuff goes around and not into the bin|
My head tells me I should be equally cynical about this bunch, trying to justify their occupation with a bit of pseudo-hippy mumbo-jumbo, but after a day wandering round Oxford where the disparity of wealth and poverty is all too obvious, I have a certain sympathy for them.
Just clear the place up a bit, Ed. You don't win friends by living in a tip.
|The famous Oxford Swingbridge awaits restoration|
Well now the nettles have been cleared and the Oxford Preservation Trust is undertaking a feasibility study into restoring the bridge. Hooray!