The weather isn’t always favourable to us in the renewable energy industry. Recent storms and heavy rain have brought it’s share of challenges. Firstly, in December a large tree fell into the weir that caused a restriction to the weir cleaning. Our maintenance team were quick to take action and immediately cut away any problematic branches keeping the impact on production as low as possible.
February brought some heavy rain and thunder storms which resulted in further damage. The rainfall caused flooding which meant that there was a lot of sediment built up which had gauged out parts of the river bank on the pipeline side both up and downstream. These were repaired using sediment as backfill as this contained some surprisingly large stones. This was then sealed off with concrete to hopefully prevent a reoccurrence. We also noticed a bent spline shaft on the valve for closing off the penstock which presumably was the result of being hit by a log. This has now been replaced too.
In early August we were hit by a lightening strike which knocked out the weir cleaner motor, drive and head pond sensor cable that links to the powerhouse. Repairs saw us out of action for a week but overall August was still well ahead of budget.
We’ve also had a new G59 meter delivered as part of the UK electricity industry’s changing protocols. As the existing one actually complied, it was re programmed with the new one left as a spare. Hopefully the more accommodating settings will result in less outages and damage due to grid issues. Time will tell but so far so good!