Sandford Hydro is a community energy project developed by Low Carbon Hub. We expect all works to be completed by summer 2017.

Check this page for blow-by-blow project updates, or sign up for e-updates below!

Sandford Hydro Render 00

This image shows what the completed project will look like. View the full Sandford Hydro Case Study here.

You can also sign up for occasional e-updates just about this project here.


Footbridge to be removed on 28 April

12 April 2017

The timing of when the pedestrian footbridge on the island between the Lasher Weir and Sandford Lock will be removed temporarily has changed! It has been moved forward to Friday, 28 April, instead of early May.

The bridge has to be removed to allow for the three Archimedes screws to be floated on the river to the weir where they will be installed to generate clean energy from this summer. We expect this to be happening from 3 May.

We can't say precisely when the bridge will be put back in place, but it will be for four weeks at most -- hopefully less. Maps showing diversions to local footpaths will be going up around the area and here soon.


Footbridge closure in May - early notice

31 March 2017

When we put together our project timeline (see update 9 below), we flagged up that the pedestrian footbridge at the north end of the island between Sandford Lock and the Lasher Weir will have to be removed temporarily. This will be necessary when the three Archimedes screws currently stored at Sandford Wharf are transported on the river to be installed at the Weir.

We currently expect this to happen at the beginning of May, when the footbridge will be removed and the footpath closed, for a maximum of four weeks. Hopefully it will be for a shorter period, but we can't say for sure at this point.

Signs explaining the situation will go up soon; you can download one here too. Additional notices highlighting diversions will be displayed at key points in the network of local footpaths once the bridge is actually closed.

General Poster
General Poster
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We are really sorry for this disruption to your enjoyment of the local area during the construction of Sandford Hydro and apologise in advance -- we know that many of you use that path!

Img 2244 Kat Luddecke Stakeholder Engagement Advisor


Three Archimedes screws

31 March 2017

The three Archimedes screws arrived at Sandford on 29 March, as planned. They are now on the Wharf just before the Kings Arms, waiting to be installed in the new structure on the Kennington side of the Lasher Weir. We currently expect that to be during the first week in May, but keep an eye out for updates here closer to the time.

Just to remind everyone that the fences around the screws are there for people's safety -- you are very welcome to come and have a look at them, but they are tall structures and we wouldn't want to see anyone injure themselves accidentally. So please respect the fencing and keep at a safe distance!

Thanks to Liz Shatford for this video of the delivery and to the Oxford Mail for this article.

I think people were surprised to see just how big they were. We had people on the other side of the green watching pretty much all day – they were just mesmerised.

Adraino Figueiredo Operations Director Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Adriano Figueiredo Operations Director


We're on our way

23 March 2017

The three Archimedes screws are now on their way -- looking very pretty in their water blue colour! We are expecting them to arrive at Sandford on Wednesday, 29 March. If the date changes, as it well may, we will update you here! We are also keeping local residents along the delivery route on Church Road informed, as parking and traffic are expected to be restricted during the day of the delivery and the evening before.

Sandford-on-Thames Parish Council have kindly given permission to keep the screws on the Wharf on Church Road just before the Kings Arms. The concrete structure on the Lasher Weir that will house them is coming together, but it will be still some weeks before the screws can be installed. We currently expect that to be around 24 April, when the screws will be lifted onto floating pontoons so they can be transported on the water to the construction site at the Weir for installation.

Church Road Plan Model
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Say hello and getting ready for the screws

8 March 2017

Come to talk to us about Sanford Hydro and our re-opened community share offer to raise the remaining £380,000 of our original £1.2m target!

We're planning to be at the:

  • Apple Cafe at St. Swithun's Church Hall, Kennington OX1 5PL on Saturday, 11 March, 10.30am to 12.30pm
  • Talking Shop at Sandford Village Hall, Sandford-on-Thames OX4 4YN on Saturday, 19 March, 9am to 12 noon
  • Apple Cafe at St. Swithun's Church Hall, Kennington OX1 5PL on Saturday, 8 April, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Also, we'll be starting some work on Sandford Green soon, in preparation for the screws arriving -- now looking like 29 March! Thanks to Sandford Parish Council and look out for more details here soon.

We'll also have a stall at the ATOM Science Festival on Saturday, 25 April, in Abingdon Market Place. Come and say hello!


Increased traffic next Monday!

24 February 2017

Just to let you know that next Monday, 27 February, we will have about 20 to 25 lorries coming onto the site. This is to bring quite a lot of concrete as we're now out of the hole, so to speak, and the structure is rising fast!

The lorries will be taking the usual route, from south of Kennington, turning into Sandford Lane and then down the temporary road to the construction site.


Moving on up

22 February 2017

Adriano has taken the opportunity of being on-site for one of our weekly project meetings to take some more photos to show how the structure is coming along nicely.

You can even see where the slots for the screws are being formed in what looks like a -- slightly edgy -- 'U'-shape. One of the builders is using the wooden frame to climb up higher and help ensure the concrete is poured in the right place!


Checking up on our screws

22 February 2017

Our Operations Director, Adriano Figueiredo, has been back to see how the screws are -- literally -- coming together over at the factory in Hungary. This time, Adriano had both an engineer and a designer from our civil works contractors with him, to measure and verify the dimensions of the screws and to help with the detailed planning of the installation when the screws arrive on site later this spring.

Installing the three massive screws will be the most challenging part of the build, so we want to make sure it is as well prepared as possible.

It was good to see the screws now with the blades welded on -- and to get together with everyone to review all the steps of the installation process!

Adraino Figueiredo Operations Director Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Adriano Figueiredo Operations Director


Working Saturdays

3 February 2017

If the weather allows, our contractors will keep working on building the main structure this coming Saturday. This is so we can keep making progress with the project as quickly as possible.

Access for walkers in the area won't be affected but please be extra vigilant as there'll be heavy vehicles driving up and down the temporary road! We may keep working on future Saturdays too, if we think it will help move the build on.


Getting on with laying the foundations

3 February 2017

Back on site our contractors have started work to lay the foundations for the three Archimedes screws that will power the hydro. Much of it is pouring concrete, in the area now secured with the recently completed cofferdam.

So far, about 15% of the foundations have been layed -- as they need to be sufficiently strong to hold the screws, this part of the work will continue well into April.

Of course, concrete and steel come with their own carbon footprint so we did some calculations to check how long it will take for the carbon generated in constructing the hydro to be paid back. They show the pay back period to be around 3.5 years, for a project expected to generate clean energy from the flow of the Thames for at least 40 years!

I've calculated that the pay back period for the carbon generated by the reinforced concrete and all the steel used in building Sandford Hydro is around 3.5 years. This includes the steel for the piles and screws. If you want to run your own calculations, get in touch!

James Ochiltree Projects Executive Low Carbon Hub Team 500 James Ochiltree Projects Executive


Checking up on our Archimedes screws

25 January 2017

As we're making progress on site at the Lasher Weir between Kennington and Sandford-on-Thames, the Archimedes screws are also -- literally -- coming together.

Adriano Figueiredo, our Operations Director, went earlier this month to check on how things are going at the Andritz factory in Hungary where the screws are being built. He met three of the engineers working on the screws and had a good look into the central tube of one of them, as you can see!

Can you spot 'Sandford' etched into the central tube of this screw?

Barbara Hammond Ceo Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Barbara Hammond MBE CEO of Low Carbon Hub


Piling completed in December!

20 January 2017

The noisy piling work was completed in mid-December. It had to be done to put in a temporary cofferdam. This was to enable us to start work on the concrete foundations for the turbines, to be installed on the Kennington side of the weir.

Adriano Figueiredo, our Operations Director, went out on another site visit and took some photos to show what it looks like with the piles in.

We're glad that the piling has now been finished! As you can see, the steel piles are really quite large but they're finally all in the ground. We're working hard to make the most of the short days!

Adraino Figueiredo Operations Director Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Adriano Figueiredo Operations Director



29 November 2016

We've mapped out what we expect to happen on and around the site over the coming months as the build of the hydro and fishpass progresses.

Much of the work depends on the weather (river levels, temperature, rainfall etc.), so we cannot be that precise about dates. But we hope these maps give you a better idea of some of the key steps involved in getting this community energy project completed by summer 2017.

If there are any significant changes, we will of course update the maps, so keep a look-out on this page or sign up to our project updates.

And feel free to come along to our stall at the Apple Cafe in Kennington on 3rd December!

Adraino Figueiredo Operations Director Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Adriano Figueiredo Operations Director

Sandford Hydro Timeline 1216
Sandford Hydro Timeline 1216
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Sandford Hydro Timeline 0117
Sandford Hydro Timeline 0117
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Sandford Hydro Timeline 0217
Sandford Hydro Timeline 0217
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Sandford Hydro Timeline 0417
Sandford Hydro Timeline 0417
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W/c 28th November may well be noisy again

25 November 2016

Unfortunately next week (from Monday, 28th) looks like there will be more piling, which means more noise. We know it’s not been easy for everyone affected, so are really sorry about this.

We've had a delay with a piece of equipment failing, so that’s why the piling will be continuing into another week – then it should all be done.

Our contractors won't start before 8am or go on after 5pm, and there is no piling on weekends.


Talk to us in Kennington on 3rd December!

25 November 2016

We’ll be at the Apple Café in St Swithun's Church Hall on The Avenue (OX1 5PL) from 10.30am until 12.30pm on Saturday, 3rd December.

Come to find us and hear what will be happening when, as Sandford Hydro is being built – including a fishpass to unlock the river further upstream for fish to swim up! We look forward to seeing you then.



12 November 2016

Thanks to all  59 of you who responded. The winner with 36% was Water Blue RAL 5021!



7 November 2016

We are about to order the three massive Archimedes screws for Sandford Hydro. We'd love your input on the colour of the screws. To help us choose please complete this very short colour poll -- and share it widely. 

Please respond by the end of Friday, 11th November. Thank you!



7 November 2016

We've put our heads together with our contractors and come up with a way to open the path across the field again while still complying with our Health & Safety obligations.

The main concern had been the safety of people, and their dogs, with the construction traffic on the temporary road. Our contractors will now be driving at reduced speed.

New notices with the revised footpath map will go up today! 

Sandford Hydro Footpath Map 07_11_16
Sandford Hydro Footpath Map 07_11_16
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2 November 2016

Huge apologies to everyone affected by the noise from current piling work. We’re sorry, but it’s work that has to be done. The plan is to finish the piling work in the w/c 21 November. Our contractors are doing what they can to minimise noise, e.g. 

  • No work at all on weekends, and no work before 8am or after 5pm on weekdays
  • Using vibrations to pile wherever the ground conditions allow (rather than pushing them in). 

We will hold a Public Meeting soon to talk about the benefits the project is expected to generate and to answer your questions. Email us to register your interest to attend.



15 September 2016

We have put up notices in the construction area to show arrangements for footpaths while we’re on site. Our main concern is the safety of everyone – including dogs – during construction. Unfortunately this means that some areas will not be accessible while we build the hydro, as heavy construction machinery is moving up and down the temporary road. All the formal footpaths remain open.



4 August 2016

Low Carbon Hub is developing a community energy hydro project to return the Lasher Weir to its historic role as a provider of clean energy. Three Archimedes screws are expected to generate enough energy to power about 406 homes – all of Sandford or half of Kennington!

Having prepared the site in the spring, our contractors are now ready to start works on site and put in place the temporary infrastructure needed during the construction phase. We are keen to share our plans for the works and how we're trying to minimise the impact for both villages.

To find out more and stay updated you can:

  • join us at this meeting at Sandford Village Hall
  • sign up for project news via our monthly e-newsletter
  • keep visiting this page for updates!

Find out more about this community energy scheme at our public meeting on Thursday, 11 August, Sandford Village Hall, Henley Road, from 7.30 - 9 pm.

Sandford Lock Hydro will return the Lasher Weir to its historic role as a provider of clean energy. It is Low Carbon Hub’s largest community energy project to date, and a key part of our vision to create, together with local households, businesses and schools, a clean, community-owned energy system for the county.

Barbara Hammond Ceo Low Carbon Hub Team 500 Barbara Hammond MBE CEO of Low Carbon Hub

sandford hydro in numbers

  • 440 kwp installed capacity
  • 406 homes the project could power
  • 1.6 GWH of clean electricity to be produced annually
  • 2 tonnes of CO2 the project will avoid every day