The Totnes Hydro Power scheme was completed on schedule and commisioned in December 2015. It is generating very well and performing better than predicted.
Dart Renewables Limited was established in 2009 to develop a small-scale hydro power scheme at Totnes weir on the river Dart (the ‘Totnes Weir scheme’). Dart Renewables was founded by the current director shareholders who have significant experience in the development and construction of hydro power schemes and complementary backgrounds in fisheries science, hydro technology and civil engineering.
We acquired the Totnes weir and surrounding land in 2009 and have since been developing plans for the construction of the hydro power scheme. Planning permission for the scheme was granted in November 2014 and we are now seeking to raise £1.3 million through a bond issue to fund its construction. The shareholders have already invested £405,000 of capital in to the project.
Construction began this month and is scheduled to complete in December 2015, subject to raising the funds required. The scheme is expected to begin generating electricity in January 2016 and should have a life of at least 40 years.
The proposed Totnes Weir scheme is a 300 kW scheme which is expected to generate around 1,200 MWh of clean electricity each year – enough to power around 280 homes1. The scheme has unique community and environmental benefits which go beyond the generation of clean energy.
1. Estimate based on figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showing actual generation from hydro power and showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 4,170 kWh
Numbers of migratory salmon and sea trout are in decline in the river Dart, in part due to difficulty in passing the Totnes weir. The species are currently being held at the weir, where seals predate, leading to mortality of the fish. The construction of the Totnes Weir scheme will include the installation of a modern fish pass which allows the fish to pass the weir and continue their journey upstream to spawn. It is expected that this will reduce salmon and sea trout losses in the river Dart and over time increase the population of these species in the river Dart catchment.
A state-of-the-art fish counter is also being installed as part of the construction. This will provide valuable data on the species in the river Dart which will be shared with both the Dart Angling Association and the Environment Agency.
We have developed the Totnes Weir scheme in close conjunction with the local community in Totnes and the scheme will benefit the community in a variety of ways. Around two thirds of the power generated by the Totnes weir scheme will be used to power the local school in Totnes, King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC), and a community development of affordable homes and community facilities for the Totnes area which is being managed by the Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS). Electricity will be sold to these organisations at a mutually beneficial rate compared to prevailing market rate.
The Environment Agency, the Dart Angling Association, the TCDS and TRESOC (the Totnes Community Energy Society) have been closely involved in the consultation process for the Totnes Weir scheme and are very supportive of the project.
Dart Renewables Limited
Construction of the Totnes Weir scheme, a 300 KW hydro power scheme on the river Dart
8 years; repayable in six annual equal instalments with the first instalment payable on 30 April 2018 and the final instalment payable on 30 April 2023
£10,000; a lower minimum investment of £2,000 applies for investors who reside within a 15 mile radius of Totnes or are members of TRESOC
8% gross per year, fixed and payable (net of UK basic rate tax) annually in arrears on 30 April in each calendar year
Bonds are not listed on an investment exchange
Launched 16 April 2015; closes 15 May 2015 (the directors of Dart Renewables reserve the right to extend this)
Investment decisions must only be made on the basis of the offer document and not on any information provided in this summary. Investing in Dart Renewables bonds is not the same as investing money in a bank account as your capital is at
risk and you may not get back the full amount that you invested. Dart Renewables bonds are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.