Our Green Pledge

The Mill at Sonning Dinner Theatre was proud to announce on 4 July 2005 that it had launched the first Hydro Electric Scheme to be powered by the natural resources of The River Thames. The scheme is not only generating enough electric energy for the theatre’s numerous lights – arc lights, spotlights, footlights, house lights – but also for the restaurant dining rooms, bars, ovens, as well as backstage corridors, dressing rooms, wardrobe areas, set construction workshops, control box, in addition to its many, many offices. An anticipated excess of this ‘green’ electricity generated by the theatre will also be passed on for sale to a delighted National Grid.

'It was my late husband Tim Richards who instigated this project a few years ago having been involved in hydro schemes in South America earlier in his career as a civil engineer. My daughter Sally Hughes, Managing Director, and David Vass, General Manager, restarted the scheme and it is thrilling to see it reach fruition and realise we will be generating our own ‘clean’ power in a few months. A fitting tribute to my husband. He would have been so pleased'.

The 18.5 KW turbine was installed under the supervision of Derwent Hydroelectric Power. About 162,000 units of electricity will be generated each year. Or put more simply 75 tons of carbon dioxide will no longer be poured annually into the world’s eco-system.

Derwent Hydroelectric Power are reputed for developing small hydro schemes at mill sites. Contact: Oliver Paish, Derwent Hydro Electric Ltd., Fern Lodge, Suffield, Derbyshire, DE56 4AA

TV Energy works to educate, promote and deliver renewable energy solutions to communities, individuals and businesses. It is sponsored by the Association of Councils in the Thames Valley Region, the European Commission, 17 Local Authorities and a wide range of other public and private sector organisations. The Government has set a target of 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010 and TV energy is working closely with the regional government agencies to ensure that the potential for renewable energy in the Thames Valley region is fully developed.

Renewable energy uses free and natural sources to generate heat and power; such as energy from wind, sun, water; or from materials such as wood or animal wastes. These sources of energy do not produce polluting greenhouse gases and are carbon neutral over their life cycle, so they can make a large contribution in slowing the impact of climate change. Examples of renewable energy are solar panels on roofs, wind turbines, and using wood fuel instead of oil or gas, for individual boilers or larger heating schemes.

Ian Bacon, TV Energy, Liberty House The Enterprise Centre New Greenham Park Newbury, Berks RG19 6HS
Tel: 01635 817420 Fax: 01635 552779
Email: Ian Bacon Website: www.tvenergy.org