Sandford Hydro

Following a fall in river levels in the Sandford reach on Sunday 29 May 2022 we are working with Environment Agency staff and insurers to support the on-going investigation as to the cause. Due to seasonal river conditions at the time, the hydro generators were switched off and not operational when the incident occurred.

Investors in Sandford Lock Hydro have helped return the Lasher Weir on the Thames to its historic role as a provider of clean energy. The hydro scheme generates a huge 1.6 GWh of renewable electricity per year, which is the equivalent demand for 500+ households — or most of Sandford!

The Sandford Lock hydroelectric plant uses three Archimedes screws (similar to the one currently in operation at Osney Lock Hydro) to generate electricity from the flow of the river water.

The hydro site has been through rigorous ecosystem surveys to ensure it has minimal impact on the local wildlife, such as trees, shrubs, birds and bats. It’s even beneficial for wildlife and biodiversity in the area, through the installation of a fish pass in the river. This is a system designed to encourage all the species in the river to travel upstream – the first time in 400 years this will have been possible.

Sandford Hydro has been a long labour of love from the local community. Community members directed the project tirelessly from its conception all the way through to setting up as a Sandford Hydro Community Interest Company. As the project grew, Sandford Hydro CIC decided to team up with Low Carbon Hub and hand over the planning and development to us. We were really excited to work with such a committed community to help see their vision through to the end.

Sandford Hydro was part of a community share offer, which means that members of the community and local residents own part of this amazing hydro system. The funds from the electricity generated will give a return to people who have invested in the hydro, as well as funding future community energy initiatives through Low Carbon Hub’s community benefit programme.

The Hydro was fully commissioned in August 2017. To see the full timeline of the project, head to the bottom of this page.

440 kW
installed capacity
1.6 GWh
annual generation of clean electricity
1.1
tonnes CO₂ emissions prevented every day
500+
households supplied with clean energy

Many thanks to all who have played a part over the years in getting Sandford Hydro up and running; it is so satisfying to watch the screws in action and think of all that energy being harvested from the river.