Case Study

Sandford Hydro

The project:

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 will generate a colossal 1.6 GWh of renewable electricity per year, which is the equivalent demand for about 450 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. A particularly interesting part of the hydro is its fish pass; a system specially designed to encourage all the species in the river to travel upstream for the first time in 400 years! You can read more about the fish pass in the link below. The hydro site has also been through rigorous ecosystem surveys to ensure it has minimal impact on the local wildlife, such as trees, shrubs, birds and bats.

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 the 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.

Sandford Hydro: screws turning from Low Carbon Hub on Vimeo.


The Hydro was fully commissioned in August 2017. You can see the timeline of the project on our dedicated Sandford Hydro Project Updates page.


For more information on the amount of clean electricity Sandford Hydro produces, visit our online renewable installations map the People's Power Station.

Photos / map / Impact

  • Sandford Hydro
  • Fish Pass July 2019
  • Sandy July 2019 Wildflowers
  • Sandy July 2019
  • Sandy Turning July 2019
  • 440 kW Installed capacity of the project
  • 1.6 GWH The amount of carbon free electricity to be produced annually
  • 2 Tonnes of CO2 to be saved EVERY DAY on average!
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.

Liz Shatford, Sandford Hydro CIC

Sandford Hydro FAQ Guide
Sandford Hydro FAQ Guide
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Sandford Hydro Fish Pass Information
Sandford Hydro Fish Pass Information
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Neil Lawson Sandford Hydro
Neil Lawson Sandford Hydro
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Sandford For Rhilc 26032017
Sandford For Rhilc 26032017
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Work with us

  • Saskya Huggins Copy
    Saskya Huggins
    Social Impact Director
    01865 246099
    Email me

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