May 2017 – Llanthony Weir Hydro
Alongside the commencement of Leadon Hydro, the planning of a much larger scheme at Llanthony on the Severn continues.
The £10m hydroelectricity scheme at Llanthony has been in development stage for a number of years. The H&GCT has now started work in earnest on this project, which hopes to install a system to provide green electricity to Gloucester Quays and potentially others.
The H&GCT already own the old Lock and cottages alongside Llanthony weir. The lock was built in 1871, and was needed to allow boats passing up and down the River Severn to avoid the weir, which had been constructed to ensure that there would always be a minimum depth of six feet of water in the river above Gloucester. The lock remained in use until 1924. With the implementation of the hydro-electric scheme, the Trust will construct a complete new lock and flood relief channel reconnecting our Canal to the network.
The hydro energy resource will require the installation of inflatable weirs on top of both Llanthony and Maisemore weirs to raise the impounded level by over two metres. This will minimise tidal intrusion and silt load, dramatically reducing silting of both Gloucester docks and the River channel. With the reopened lock acting as a flood relief channel, the development site will contribute to the delivery of the Environment Agency plans outlined in the Briefing Note ‘Reducing flood risk from the River Severn in Gloucester and the surrounding area – Initial Assessment’ (March 2016). The improved navigation in the Parting and into Gloucester Docks will maximise the Dock tourism income for the City.
The first Feasibility Study confirmed the practicality of the proposal and the economic viability in principal and with the continued support of Gloucester City Council, the scheme is expected to receive considerable capital contributions from developments in the Gloucester area. This project will be a showcase for the development of green energy on the Severn.