Latest News

Chagford Hydro plant

Posted in News on Friday 10th January 2014 at 6:56pm

Forebay area at a site recently restarted after being closed down for around 20 years, now with crossflow turbine operating on 3.1m head.

draft tubes

Little and Large

Posted in Projects on Monday 5th August 2013 at 2:35am

An interesting comparison of draft tubes from manufacturer Ecowave:  WRE has installed both the small one and the large one - the large tube represents the physically biggest turbine manufactured to date by Ecowave.  This system is being installed in a site which has generated electricity since 1892.

screener range

Coanda wedgewire screens

Posted in Products on Friday 8th March 2013 at 12:12am

WRE has recently introduced a larger Coanda screen capable of passing 75 litres per metre of weir length, the first delivery to a 100kW plant in mid Wales has already occurred.

Merry Christmas from all at WRE Ltd

Posted in News on Friday 21st December 2012 at 4:50pm

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all at WRE Ltd.

Our offices will be closed from 1pm Friday 21st December till 9am Wednesday the 2nd January.

Wishing you all the best for the festive season

Cornish Waterwheel

Posted in News on Thursday 22nd March 2012 at 2:50am

A new WRE designed and comissioned generation system in Cornwall, recently installed - before guarding and housing of the generator and gearbox.

Fish pass

Posted in News on Thursday 22nd March 2012 at 2:47am

WRE has just completed the installation of a two flight fish pass with resting pool to allow upstream migrating fish pass a 5m high barrier in Devon

Exmoor Planning Success

Posted in News on Wednesday 7th March 2012 at 3:28am

WRE has been working for some time on a hydro scheme on the River Barle, a large tributary of the Exe.  Today permission was unanimously granted for a 78kW hydro plant on the river at Dulverton.  This system will be a reinstatement of a hydro scheme dormant since the 1950's.  The owners of the site have worked tirelessly to develop a proposal which includes the best practice available at this sensitive site.  The prospect of vastly improving the passage of fish past the site is to be welcomed, and the renewable power produced will mean that this is absolutely a 'win-win' site. 

We look forward to seeing this site become an exemplar of sustainability within the National Park.


Blackpool Mill

Micro hydro in the South Hams

Posted in Projects on Tuesday 14th February 2012 at 4:44am

WRE has just completed a small hydro scheme in South Devon.  The scheme incorporates 6mm fish screening, a spacious powerhouse, and a compact crossflow turbine operating on 180l/s and 4.5m head. 

The system is simple, fully automated and quiet in operation.  The layout is typical of many smaller mills, and whilst elements of the historical systems were used, most of the system was new.

Exmoor Pelton system

Posted in News on Wednesday 18th January 2012 at 3:14am

A view in the powerhouse of a 25kW single jet Pelton installed by WRE in Somerset, commissioned in 2012.

River Dart hydro scheme - progress

Posted in News on Wednesday 18th January 2012 at 3:09am

A view of the 250 tonne crane installing the 2.8 cumec, 4.5m head turbine - a 90kW machine which looks relatively small as it lifts over the new works at Buckfast.

buckfast abbey turbine

River Dart hydro scheme

Posted in News on Wednesday 4th January 2012 at 5:29am

WRE is currently installing another hydro scheme on the River Dart, immediately downstream from the first screw turbine on this river (installed by WRE, Castleford engineering and GP Electronics in 2006).  The system includes a fishpass and is the biggest flowrate turbine in the Dart system.  WRE is based at Old Walls on the West Webburn river which is the largest output hydro plant now in the Dart catchment, this plant when added to WRE designed and installed plants at Ashburton, Buckfast, Poundsgate and Dartington brings the installed capacity to around 230kW.  For some historical benchmark, around 1950 there was about 700kW of hydro on the Dart, but by 1980 this had dwindled to a small fraction of this, the current renaissance is therefore only partially regaining lost ground, and the total possible capacity is actually many megawatts, if as a society we were reasonably committed to hydro.


Construction Updates

Posted in Projects on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:22am

WRE is currently installing a new 23kW crossflow turbine at a site on Dartmoor.

The system is equipped with an advanced control system which can be operated via the internet, and controls not only the turbine itself, but also ancillary equipment such as the screening equipment.  This type of control system is increasingly being deployed on even moderate schemes to maximise output and minimise downtime.

It can also make operation and maintenance by WRE more straightforward.

Construction Updates

Posted in Projects on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:16am

Construction has commenced at a site on the Dart for a new 90kW screw turbine to be completed in 2012.

Construction Updates

Posted in Projects on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:14am

A small system similar to the system at Cotehele is under construction currently.  The old mill has a small flow and modest head, but can generate 5.5kW when complete.  The system is designed, built and commissioned by WRE and will be equipped with a small crossflow turbine when complete. 


Mapledurham Mill

Mapledurham Turbine

Construction Updates

Posted in Projects on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:10am

The largest screw turbine hydro system operating on the Thames, designed by WRE has generated successfully.  The system uses 8 cubic metres of water per second, on a 1.7m head, and is the largest flow screw turbine operating in the UK.

The system was challenging because it was built so close to the existing historic mill building.

Summer Update

Posted in News on Friday 29th July 2011 at 4:22am

The low flows which have been evident all year have allowed WRE to make good progress on a number of sites, and we currently have over 250kW of sites under construction.  The WRE designed system at Mapledurham is developing well under the watchful eye of Greenfords, and the Rehart turbine will be delivered soon.  This is the largest flow of any screw turbine in the UK, and should be operating during October.  In addition WRE is working at two mill sites in Devon, one near Chagford and one near Dartmouth, with a capacity of around 30kW in total, both to be equipped with Ecowave crossflow machines.  A significant project at Buckfast Abbey on the Dart is just commencing, with the screw turbine recently ordered from Ritz-Atro for this site, and is the largest power output turbine from this company installed in the UK to date.

Coupled with this, a significant number of other sites are moving forward, meaning that whilst we will comission more capacity in 2011 than ever before, we are confident that 2012 will result in even more capacity

Peak District hydro scheme

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:57am

WRE has designed, installed and commissioned a 15kW hydro site which is the runs on 32m net head and 72 l/s. 

Exmoor high head system

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:53am

WRE has designed and is installing a Pelton based system generating over 20kW from 70m net head.  The system has a pipeline which is nearly 1km long but the whole system is expected to be almost unnoticable.

Dartmoor system

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:50am

WRE has commissioned a very small flow crossflow system at a local site in Devon.

Bainbridge hydro

Bainbridge community hydro

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:48am

Recently WRE has commissioned this 37kW site in the Yorkshire Dales.  It was designed by WRE for Water Power Enterprises, and has been completed to a very high standard by the team involved.

Rochdale interchange archimedean screw turbine

Rochdale hydro

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:45am

WRE has acted as lead consultant at this project.  WRE carried out the licensing and planning, and the tender for design and build was won by Spaans, who are about to deliver the system to client TFGM (formerly GMPTE)

Mapledurham Mill

Mapleduham Mill

Posted in News on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 4:36am

The 99kW scheme at Mapledurham mill is now underway, designed by WRE, with construction by Greenfords, and turbine from Rehart, supplied by UK agents MPCL.

WRE are recruiting!

Posted in News on Tuesday 17th May 2011 at 7:44pm

Owing to continued high demand for its services, the company is now seeking to recruit a civil engineer to fill a permanent post working within our small friendly team on hydro scheme design

For more information please email Mrs Yvette Elliott, Project Administrator on


Click to enlarge

Leaves, leaves everywhere, and a lot of water to drink

Posted in News on Monday 15th November 2010 at 2:40pm

The eight hydro schemes which WRE regularly maintains for clients in Devon and Cornwall have been generating at maximum capacity recently, although these last few weeks have brought massive volumes of leaves and debris as well. This has meant extra work for the screening systems, but when there is so much water available it is important to keep output at maximum. It is good to see water levels up, after what has been a fairly dry early part of the year.

WRE’s directly employed construction team are just completing a system at Cotehele for the National Trust, and the good standard of finish required by the trust is evident on this site. We look forward to the handover, and adding the site to our list of operating sites. At the other end of the country, another scheme designed by WRE is taking shape. The Bainbridge hydro system in the Yorkshire Dales was designed by us, and is being built for the community based owning group by contractor A E Yates, with h2oPE as project managers. WRE looks forward to further involvement at this site in the new year. Elsewhere WRE are acting as lead consultant for a screw turbine project in Rochdale. The client, GMPTE, is developing a new transport interchange, and WRE has developed the proposal for a turbine and fish pass at the site over the last eighteen months. The development is now under construction as a design and build project under the auspices of Spaans Babcock, with WRE regularly on site coordinating between the client and contractor. Meanwhile at sites from Dartmoor to the Peak District small systems are being installed, with the owners carrying out much of the actual construction, with WRE designing it, and installing the powerhouse equipment under the MCS process.

These projects demonstrate that WRE is able to help clients in a range of professional roles, from design and construction with our in house team, to complete system design with construction put to tender, or high level coordination of projects delivered via design and build methods.

Which is the best route to take mainly depends on the client, and there is a broad range in the industry, WRE believes that our independence and flexibility is a key benefit.

Autumn Update

Posted in News on Saturday 30th October 2010 at 10:34pm

Hydro visit

Torrs Hydro, a 63kW system installed by WRE in 2008 was honoured to host a visit by Greg Barker (Minister for Climate Change) and the Regional Director for the Environment Agency on 28th October.  As well as visiting Torrs Hydro they visited the Co-op (powered by the system) before moving on to New Mills Town Hall for the Minister to formally announce ways in which the Government are going to help support community owned schemes like this.  There was wide coverage in the press.

Council Place

WRE senior engineer Chris Elliott was elected to the council of the British Hydropower Association at its recent AGM, and looks forward to pushing micro-hydro up the agenda.


Cotehele’s new hydro system is nearing completion, the turbine was run for the first time last week, and should be generating in the coming week.

Click to enlarge

October Updates

Posted in News on Friday 1st October 2010 at 2:45pm


WRE is pleased to announce it is now listed as an MCS transition installer, and this allows us to design and install systems to receive the Feed-In-Tariff, and as such we will fully commission three schemes in the next month.  Sub-50kW systems designed or installed by a non-MCS installer will not be eligible for the FIT.

Installations Update

WRE has recently ordered a second turbine from Ecowave Systems, a crossflow turbine to operate on 25m head on a site on Dartmoor, which should be generating in December.  This system is designed by WRE.

Screening Equipment

We have also supplied further Coanda type screens, as well as gaining future orders for more.  We have recently sold 10mm screening systems to fellow hydropower system designers Renewables First and Highland Eco Design for low head sites, and are about to start delivery of similar systems to the 6mm standard sometimes requested by the EA.

Click to enlarge

WRE Fundraising Success

Posted in News on Wednesday 15th September 2010 at 1:34pm

WRE recently entered a team into a sponsored ‘Daredevil Challenge’ for the charity Devon Community Foundation, raising nearly £500 for this good cause.  Well done to all involved.

Click to enlarge

August Updates

Posted in News on Thursday 12th August 2010 at 9:19pm

As so often, whilst the summer brings mixed weather for tourists in the Westcountry, WRE is hard at work making use of the drier weather to carry out construction of hydro schemes.  We are working at two sites, one for the National Trust, is just starting, and another for a private client is moving toward completion.

The private client has carried out most of the works himself, with WRE doing design and specification of the system, and fitting and commissioning the system.  The turbine is a very neat and compact machine from Ecowave Systems, which has been specified as it offered a small and quiet machine, at a good price from a UK supplier.  Pleasingly the delivery was relatively fast, and we will report on the performance of this model, as it is the first from this manufacturer that we have installed.

The National Trust site is at Cotehele in Cornwall, and despite wet ground conditions and difficult access (as ever), progress is good.  WRE has designed and gained licenses for this site, and is doing all the installation and commissioning, in the coming months. This system uses a sturdy JLA turbine.

Further work for the National Trust is continuing, with progress on sites in the Westcountry, hopefully which will lead to installation in 2011/12.

Work for later in the year covers Screw, Crossflow and Pelton systems, with potentially hundreds of kW of installed capacity following in the next 12 months.

Look out for the website updates shortly.

Tipton Hydro

Posted in Projects on Sunday 1st August 2010 at 8:27pm

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Hydro scheme, River Otter, Devon

Posted in Projects on Friday 7th May 2010 at 8:41pm

WRE has recently started construction of a 28kW hydro plant at Tipton St John in East Devon.  After a long licensing process, including a successful appeal a license was issued in June 2009.  The development has been assisted by the East Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund, which provided significant assistance in moving the proposal through the long design process  Unfortunately, due to the tight restrictions on timing it was not possible to start construction until 2010.  However, after receiving the necessary Flood Defence Consent, Planning Permission, and carrying out the necessary ecological work, fish rescue and agreeing to the archaeological conditions, preparatory work finally got underway this week.  The undergrowth has been cleared, and the leat dredged, and with good ground conditions and weather concrete will be poured in the next couple of weeks.  Commissioning is anticipated to be in August, water flow permitting.