Energy has been drawn from the River Thames for a thousand years, and Reading Hydro Community Benefit Society (CBS) plans to re-take advantage of this power for the benefit of Reading.
Based beside Caversham Weir, the scheme will be using cutting-edge hydro technology to generate electricity and will include improvements to View Island with a new natural fish and eel pass.
Education is at the core of the project, with open information and resources for local schools to be made available to improve awareness of green energy.
Volunteer-led, our Directors and Advisory Board are members of the Reading community who are passionate about making a sustainable difference by using clean energy to invest back into the local community.
We have got as far as we can supported by initial grants from the Reading Climate Change Partnership and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (now BEIS). All alongside countless hours from our wonderful volunteers.
Now we need to move quickly to the next stages! The government is ending the Feed In Tariff for renewable energy at the end of March 2019. In order to secure this extra income, essential for the viability for the project, we must register our scheme with Ofgem before then. We are working to achieve all the necessary permissions. In parallel we are commissioning an Outline Design for the project by an experienced contractor.
You can buy into our Pioneer Share Offer to kick start this project work. This will cover project permissions costs and the commissioning of the outline scheme design.
After all this we will be able to do a full design for the project, make our Main Community Share Offer, and build the scheme.
Without the money raised from this Pioneer Share Offer the project won't happen for years.
All Pioneer Share owners will be members with a vote in our Community Benefit Society, be eligible to have their investment repaid over time once the scheme is up and running, and gain other perks along the way. If the scheme cannot be built the Pioneer Shares will not be able to be paid back. Your money is at risk if the project fails; your support makes it more likely we will succeed.
The installation of the turbines will generate both renewable electricity and income to support the local community. As Reading Hydro is a Community Benefit Society the profits will be kept for use by the community, rather than giving extravagant rewards to shareholders in a private company. Profits will be used on other community sustainability projects, after paying shareholders a reasonable return for their investment.
The recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C clearly states the urgency of action to address carbon emissions. The scheme has potential to generate 260MWh a year. That's enough green energy for 90 homes.
Reading Hydro CBS has a team of skilled directors and volunteers, with a growing membership base and community presences. We're keen to engage with a wide range of interests and communities, from the young to old, making renewable energy open to everyone. Just a few examples of this include workshop sessions with local schools and trips down to the site, talks at Reading Geek Night and the Free Radicals improvised comedy and engagement stalls and Reading Town Meal.