Opening Ceremony

Thunder and Lightning are Officially Opened

May 2013

We have had our official opening ceremony and our twin Archimedes screws named “Thunder and Lightning” by Stockport Mayor. The name was suggested by Class 5B from Woodley Primary School in Stockport.

Thunder and Lightning have been turning “in earnest” since 22nd October 2012.  Now accredited for the Government’s Feed in Tariffs, we have been earning income at a commercial rate since that time as we feed sustainable energy into the National Grid.  In March 2013 we passed our 100, 000th kilowatt hour of power generation: a milestone of which we are very proud.

Despite low levels of rainfall during the winter of 2012-13, the fact that our twin screws can turn independently and at variable speeds, has meant that we have been able to continue to generate power when other similar schemes have had to stop.  In fact, our engineers are now confident that this configuration of our Archimedes Screws will yield 30% more electricity than in our original plans, which is great news not only for the environment but also for our creditors and investors.

We have had approval from the Environment Agency to operate, and remain constantly vigilant that our programme supports the local environment and wildlife. As part of our construction phase we removed a huge amount of invasive non-indigenous plant species and installed bat boxes and fish and mammal passes.  We have also gone to great lengths to ensure the screws themselves are not harmful to fish or other wildlife using the river.  As part of the daily routine our volunteers clear plastic and other rubbish from the intake screen to the turbines, so helping to keep the river Goyt clean.

We have a team of dedicated volunteers who regularly visit the plant to inspect and ensure its continued safe and efficient  running.  During the autumn, there was a lot of work to ensure fallen leaves did not reduce operational efficiency by collecting at the inlet to the screws. The entire area is covered by CCTV which can be accessed remotely allowing us to regularly monitor and check everything is OK with the site.