Visit the South West's first and still working hydro electric power station
History buffs can visit one of the country's first working hydro electric power stations next week in West Devon as part of 2009's Heritage Open Days.
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.
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.
Mary Tavy is now 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.
Energy Manager Alan Burgess said: "Mary Tavy, itself is a fascinating example of how hydro electric generation has developed through the decades and I hope everyone enjoys the tour.
"We are continuing to invest for the future and are committed to more green generation, sourcing low carbon energy and increasing our energy efficiency to reduce our CO2 emissions."
The free tours of Mary Tavy hydro electric power station will take place on Thursday, 10th 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 ten per tour and must be pre-booked. The 45 minute long tours will take place at 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 13.30, 14.30 and 15.30.
To book a place, please contact South West Water's Communications Team on 01392 443020.
Notes to editors
The company now generates 5.73 Mega Watts of energy through hydro electric power and 1.46 Mega Watts 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.
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.
On the A386 Okehampton to Tavistock, on the outskirts of Mary Tavy, turn down by the Mary Tavy Inn sign posted Horndon. At the bottom of the hill just over the bridge, turn right, past the Church and follow the lane, through the wooden gate to the right