Plans for a hydro-electric generating scheme on the Thames at Abingdon have been shelved.  

As previously reported on River Thames News, planning permission had been granted for the £1 million, community-backed project close to Abingdon lock.

But a statement on its website said: "The directors of Abingdon Hydro have decided that we should not continue with this project."

It continues: "This was a true community project, offering something for everyone – not just sustainable electricity, but a place to view the river and see water power up close, a fish pass designed as a natural flowing stream, an area that was formerly overgrown with brambles replanted for people and wildlife, better provision of white water for the canoe clubs, an educational resource, a tourist attraction, and a community fund to support other environmental projects.

"But the finances and the clock were against us. We had deadlines to meet, and the sheer complexity of the regulations was slowing progress. Then over the last few months the incentives that were designed to encourage groups like ours have been cut drastically.

"As invitations to tender had already been issued, we waited for the returns before making a final decision. But construction is a seller's market at present, so the cost, and the risk of delay, turned out to be too high to justify."

Directors thanked the 420 members who had been willing to invest in the project and public officials "who showed patience and a willingness to help as far as they could, despite the burden of ever expanding rules and regulations."

It concludes: "Over the years of attendance at public events we have met thousands of people, and know that the great majority wanted this project to become a reality. One day, when conditions are right, perhaps it could."

Other schemes along the river include Teddington and Ham, which has recently been granted planning permission, Bell Weir, and Osney. The scheme at Romney, Windsor, has been operational for two years supplying power to Windsor Castle.

November 9th 2015