Visit the country's first hydro electric power station
A rare opportunity to see one of the country's first hydro electric power stations is being offered by South West Water to mark Heritage Open Days 2008.
Mary Tavy hydro electric power station is the biggest renewable energy site belonging to South West Water and produces one third of its renewable energy; enough to serve 2,500 properties or a town the size of Crediton.
It will surprise some to learn that there has been a form of hydro power generated at Mary Tavy since 1932. During the last 75 years, the primitive mill wheels have gradually been replaced with the latest technology. Now Mary Tavy is a highly effective hydro electric power station, with six turbines and a combined capacity of 2,610 kilowatts. The turbines are powered by river water, collected in two reservoirs on Dartmoor and then sent via gravity down two pipelines to feed the hydro turbines.
South West Water other hydro electric schemes, include stations at Morwellham, Littlehempston Water Treatment works, Roadford reservoir, Meldon and Avon dams There are also seven Combined Heat and Power plants currently in operation at major treatment works across the region. CHP-biogas is a by-product of the sewage treatment process.
The company now generates 5.73 MW of energy through hydro electric power and 1.46 MW through CHP–biogas. This combined energy production is enough to power a town the size of Bideford or Ivybridge, both with a population of over 12,000 people.
"We constantly investing in the future and are committed to more green generation, more green energy purchases and increased energy efficiency to reduce our CO2 emissions," said Energy Manager Alan Burgess. "We are always on the lookout for new ways to utilise renewable energy sources and as a result of the success of our hydro power and CHP schemes, we believe we have already made a significant start.
"South West Water believes that as a major utility company in one of the most beautiful corners of the world, we have a responsibility to use our resources to help promote clean, green, renewable energy."
The free tours of Mary Tavy electric hydro power station will take place on Thursday, 11th September when visitors will be taken around the turbine hall to hear the story behind this historic operational plant.
Places on the tours are limited to seven per tour and pre-booking is essential. The 45 minute long tours will take place at 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 13.30, 14.30 and 15.30. To book places contact South West Water's Communications Team on 01392 443020.
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Published: 8 August 2008
Notes to Editors:
South West Water would also like to invite local press along to the open days, where they will be granted special access to the site. There will also be plenty of points of interest and entertaining photo opportunities.
For more information contact: