We have all looked at the water going over the weir and wondered why it is not being harnessed.
The Environment Agency have just granted a licence to generate hydroelectric power from the River Thames at Abingdon to a not for profit enterprise run by local Abingdon people.
It will affect this not very beautiful view near Abingdon Weir
and will be a new feature along this short section of footpath …
The fish pass and change from two screws, not three, look like changes from previous pictures I have seen.
Planning permission will be needed next and if that goes well there could be a share offer in the autumn to finance the project and construction next year.
The Archimedes screws are over 3 metres in diameter, and they turn quite slowly. The architect will do their best harmonise the design with the area before putting in the planning application. It will after all be an interesting attraction for visitors.
It is anticipated that they will produce 100 kilowatts. This is equivalent to about 200 average houses.
The project will cost about a million pounds, to be funded by shares. The local people leading the project hope that a good proportion of the shareholders will be local. They say the interest rate will be competitive. Any remaining profit will go into a community fund, to be used locally. For more details visit Abingdon Hydro.
On Sunday I saw two completely different games of football happening at the same time in Southern Town Park. This was the weekend of the annual Abingdon Youth FC Festival of Football. So on one side 150 teams, from age under 9 to under 15, were playing in a series or tournaments.
Nearby over on the rugby pitches, American Football had started, and the Oxford Saints beat Gloucester Centurions 41-0. The Saints next host Bristol Apache at Abingdon RFC on Sunday 27th May.
They bring their own goalposts and vocabulary such as “…the oxford Defence was generating turnovers through fumble recoveries…” and “… a brief spell of punt trading…” and “…Jonny Dover tacked on his 3rd PAT out of 4…”
Back at the Youth Football there was a replica FA Cup, and lots of stalls. On one stall there was a signed picture of the Chelsea team who have just won the UEFA Champions League on Saturday beating Bayern Munich on penalties.
After this victory, the headline in the Süddeutsche Zeitung read “How much bad luck fits into one match?”. The Gazzetta dello Sport reported on the temporary Chelsea Manager Di Matteo saying “Two and a half months at the helm were sufficient to initiate a series of miracles”.