Reading Hydro

Coordinates: 51°27′41″N 0°57′53″W / 51.46148°N 0.96486°W / 51.46148; -0.96486
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Reading Hydro
Reading Hydro (geograph 7093125).jpg
Reading Hydro with its twin Archimedes screws in operation
LocationReading, Berkshire
Coordinates51°27′41″N 0°57′53″W / 51.46148°N 0.96486°W / 51.46148; -0.96486
Commission date13 August 2021
Owner(s)Reading Hydro CBS
Operator(s)Reading Hydro CBS
Power generation
Nameplate capacity46 kW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Reading Hydro is a micro hydroelectric scheme in Reading, England. It is located on the River Thames, at the upstream end of View Island and using the head of water provided by the weir at Caversham Lock. With a drop of about 1.4 metres (4 ft 7 in) and an average water flow of 37 cubic metres (1,300 cu ft) per second, it can generate 46 kilowatts (62 hp) of electricity with its twin archimedes screw turbines.[1][2][3]

The scheme is owned and operated by the Reading Hydro CBS, a community benefit society that was founded in 2017, after some years of preparation. By 2018, planning permission had been granted and construction plans developed. Investment was raised through share offers to the local community, and the scheme was officially opened on 13 August 2021.[2][4][5]

The turbine house has been decorated on two sides with a mural by Commando Jugendstil, entitled Community Energym, and representing the Reading Hydro community and the sustainable power the project will generate. A third side contains a rendition of Warming Stripes, a visual representations of the change in global temperature over the past 100+ years originally created by Professor Ed Hawkins of Reading University.[6][7]

Although the weir already had a fish pass, this was found to be too steep for many species of fish. As part of the approvals process for the hydro scheme, a new fish pass has been constructed on View Island in the form of a stream that crosses the island on a more natural sinuous course. Both the turbine house and the fish pass are readily accessible by the public footpath, locally known as The Clappers, that crosses over both the lock and weir, and gives access to View Island.[1]



  1. ^ a b "Discover our hydro-electric plant". Reading Hydro CBS. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "A people-powered legacy: community hydro on the River Thames". Shareable. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Reading hydroelectric scheme to harness power of Thames". BBC. 13 August 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  4. ^ "What is Reading Hydro?". Reading Hydro CBS. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Reading Hydro Official Opening Ceremony". Reading Hydro CBS. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Reading Hydro Murals". Reading Hydro CBS. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Turbine House Mural Unveiled". Reading Hydro CBS. Retrieved 15 February 2022.

External links[edit]