Articles From June 2009

Rehart Installation

Posted in News on Monday 22nd June 2009 at 12:11pm

WRE has installed the country’s first Rehart screw turbine.  The building works were carried by a local firm, and WRE is responsible for the installation and commissioning of the machine.  The small machine is fitted within an existing pump house, which required careful use of crane and manual lifting gear to fit under the roof.  Commissioning has not yet occurred, as the intake and outfall need to be connected, as well as restoration of the carefully dismantled wall of the pump house.  Once this has occurred, the system will start generating power.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

WRE Appeal Success

Posted in News on Wednesday 10th June 2009 at 9:59pm

WRE Ltd has today learned that it has been successful in appealing against an abstraction license issued last year.

The license as granted was for less than 50% of the volume applied for, and this made the project uneconomic. However, it was felt that a balanced decision was not made, and so WRE decided to appeal to test the policy.

In issuing directions to the EA to grant the license substantially as applied for, the inspector noted:

“Benefits for renewable energy of setting a Hands Off Flow at Q95 and allowing a higher maximum rate of flow are direct and clear… the case for a more restrictive approach has leant heavily on arguments about up river migration of Salmon and Sea Trout.  However linkage between facilitating up river migration with restricting water abstraction on the basis of hands off flow and through a limit on maximum flow is neither direct nor clear”

“Balancing a situation producing clear and identifiable benefits for generation of renewable energy against an alternative which has putative but not clearly defined benefits for up stream migration, my judgement comes down firmly in favour of the position taken in the original application.”

The inspector continues “while I have been provided with a copy of the as yet unpublished draft Good Practice Guidelines, in view of the way the BHA has distanced itself from the contents, the weight that I attach to it is limited.”  He referred to the EA’s application of these guides in this case as “a bludgeon: by that I mean an over-weight instrument, likely to have a poorly directed and uncertain effect”.

We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to realizing the full potential of this site.