Request details of SEPEL hydroelectric potential of Thames report

Mike Post made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Environment Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Environment Agency,

On 6 March 2013 I submitted an FOI request using the Whatdotheyknow website to the Environment Agency in which I asked the following question, “I should like to know the details surrounding the award of the exclusive rights to develop hydropower at Marlow Weir to SEPEL and Maidenergy.”
The Environment Agency replied on 4 April 2013. The reference number given was WT/8892.

To my specific question; “How were the weirs selected as suitable for Hydropower?” the Environment Agency replied:
“A high level screening process was undertaken to identify suitable weirs along the River Thames. The screening looks at the environmental conditions (Flow, level and local
environmental designations) but does not consider flood risk at this stage. Flood risk is considered during licensing and planning approvals when the developer is required to demonstrate there is no increased flood risk via a flood risk assessment. See the Expression of Interest (EoI) documents for more details.”

I have since read an article by SEPEL’s chief executive in the October 2012 edition of the magazine, “International Water Power and Dam Construction”. (http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/0ba7...

In the article, David DeChambeau wrote: “[In 2007] with the encouragement of the UK Environment Agency (EA) who assigned me one of their electrical engineers to assist and provide access to their weirs, SEPEL studied the 45 weirs of the River Thames and created the first hydroelectric potential report for the river.”

1. May I please see a copy of the SEPEL hydroelectric potential report for the Thames?

2. Can you confirm that the SEPEL report formed part of the basis of the high level screening process referred to in the answer to my specific question in WT/8892 as to how the weirs were selected for hydropower?

3. Can you please confirm the process by which SEPEL was appointed to study hydropower potential on the Thames?

4. In particular, can you please confirm the relevant engineering or scientific qualifications and past experience of practical hydropower projects that SEPEL and its officers possessed when it was employed by the Environment Agency to create the first hydroelectric potential report for the Thames?

5. Can you please state how much SEPEL was paid for its hydropower potential report?

6. Stephen Naylor, the EA’s Hydropower Project Manager, is on record in the press as saying that Marlow Weir (adjacent to the Grade I listed Marlow Bridge and abutting the celebrated Compleat Angler Hotel restaurant’s windows) is, “at the end of the day, from our [the EA’s] point of view, an industrial asset.” Can you confirm that, apart from the water flow characteristics of each weir, the Environment Agency does not consider any other aspects of the Environment such as situation in the Green Belt or effect on the setting of a listed building or conservation areas when considering hydropower development?

7. On its website SEPEL refers to a variety of projects that it has underway or under investigation in the UK, Europe and the USA. Also: “By selecting appropriate technology and utilizing creative construction techniques, Southeast Power Engineering is leading the way in developing carbon free power and developing the natural resources in the UK, Europe and the USA, in environmentally sound ways.” SEPEL’s chief executive is described thus: “He has spent his career in the design, construction and operation of geographically dispersed projects. Most recently he was responsible for the design and construction methods for the first hydropower system on the River Thames at the Romney Weir just below Windsor Castle.” Apart from the Romney Weir project, can you please supply me with the names and locations of any of the hydropower projects worldwide, in progress or successfully completed, with which SEPEL or its chief executive has been involved?

8. Can you please confirm when the "up to 24 months" exclusive development rights (EoI Phase II para 4.3) for Marlow Weir run out. Will it be August 2013? What must the developer have achieved by the time the exclusive rights run out?

9. The Environment Agency document, dated February 2013, "Hydropower on the River Thames", states that the "operational date" for Marlow Weir is 2014. Mr DeChmabeau is quoted in the press as saying it will take two or three years. i.e.2015 or 2016. Bearing in mind that the Romney Weir project is over three years behind SEPEL's first projected completion date of late 2009, which is the correct "operational date" for Marlow?

10. May I please see the outline plans that SEPEL was required to submit to the EA to be awarded the exclusive rights to develop Marlow Weir?

Thank you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Post

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

4 Atodiad

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Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Dear Mike

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Hydropower on the River Thames.

For your information, I have passed your query to our local External Relations Team (Planning and Corporate Services) for advice. They will check whether we hold this information and they will be in touch with you shortly. The External Relations team have 20 working days from the date we receive your enquiry to provide a response, and they will get this to you as soon as possible.

Should you wish to contact them in the meantime, their details are below. Please quote your Enquiry Ref 130501/JC14 in your correspondence with us.

External Relations
Planning and Corporate Services
Environment Agency
South East Region, Thames West Area
Redkite House
Howbery Park
WALLINGFORD
OX10 8BD

Tel: 03708 506506

From the 1 April 2013 the functions carried out by the Environment Agency in Wales were taken over by a new body called Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
Any enquiries for Wales, with the exception of Rod licensing and the Carbon Reduction Commitment, should be directed to Natural Resources Wales.
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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Post

Thank you for your enquiries of 1 and 5 May, 2013.

Please find attached my letter and standard notice which sets out our terms and conditions associated with our data.

We would be really grateful if you could spare five minutes to help us improve our service. Please click on the link below and fill in our survey – we use every piece of feedback we receive: http://www.surveyshack.com/link/f959

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate in contacting me on the details provided.

With regards

Melinda Crosfield
External Relations Officer
Environment Planning and Engagement
West Thames
Direct Dial : 01491 828511
Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park,
Wallingford, OX10 8BD 

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With regards

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Crosfield,

Ref: WT9636

Thank you for the reply to my enquiry.

With reference to your answer to question 10, will you please provide me with the Development Proposals submitted by SEPEL in its EoI to develop Marlow Weir?

According to the Environment Agency’s own guidelines, these outline proposals should include:

• Outline design (including not more than 3 drawings, one a plan and one a x-section)
• an outline schedule of construction activities
• Outline method statement for construction
• Arrangements for operational maintenance

The submission should also include the following information:

• Form of proposed technology
• Anticipated output (kW)
• Construction material volumes
• Weight of proposed hydropower equipment

Please also provide details of all key development activities and project milestones that SEPEL has provided.

Thank you in anticipation

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

Thank you for your enquiry that is being dealt with by our External
Relations team in West Thames area.  

 

We will respond to your enquiry as soon as we can.  Where possible we will
provide a full response within 10 working days.  Should we require further
information to deal with your request, or we require payment, we will
endeavour to contact you within a couple of days.  Please be aware that
when we are receiving large numbers of enquires or your request is more
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If a charge applies to your enquiry we will send you an invoice requesting
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If you have any further questions, please contact us directly on 01491
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WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

10 Atodiad

Dear Mr Post

 

Our Ref WT 9874 previous ref WT 9636

 

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

Please now find attached

 

·         Development Proposal Documents submitted by SEPEL

·         Standard Notice

·         Covering Letter

 

We would be really grateful if you could spare five minutes to help us
improve our service. Please click on the link below and fill in our survey
– we use every piece of feedback we receive:
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If I can be of any further help, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jean Fulker

Customers & Engagement Officer

Direct Dial: 01491 828307

 

Environment Planning & Engagement

Environment Agency

South East Region, West Thames Area

Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford

OX10 8BD

 

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If you are in a flood risk areas please sign up to our free flood warning
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flooding: visit [5]www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or call 0845 988
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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear WT Enquiries,

Thank you for the partial response to my request.

Can you please now provide me with the outline design for the turbines as required by the EA in the EoI Phase II Part 3:
"Proposals to include Outline design (inc. no more than 3 drawings, one a plan and one a x-section).

A pretty picture does not count as a plan.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

Thank you for your enquiry that is being dealt with by our Customers and
Engagement Team in West Thames area.  

 

We will respond to your enquiry as soon as we can.  Where possible we will
provide a full response within 10 working days.  Should we require further
information to deal with your request, or we require payment, we will
endeavour to contact you within a couple of days.  Please be aware that
when we are receiving large numbers of enquires or your request is more
complex, we may take up to 20 working days to respond in full.

 

If a charge applies to your enquiry we will send you an invoice requesting
payment and will action your request once payment has been received.

 

If you have any further questions, please contact us directly on 01491
828665 or at [1]wt[Environment Agency request email] 

 

 

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should still check any attachment before opening it.
We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the sender or recipient, for business purposes.

References

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WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

5 Atodiad

Dear Mr Post

 

Our Ref WT 9874

 

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

We have sent you all the development proposal documents that were provided
to us by SEPEL.  There is no real need for a full design drawing at
present, as it is only a proposal and the detail for any scheme will be
much further down the process.

 

We stated in the EoI document that we wanted no more than three drawings
because some proposals send in a great deal of irrelevant data.

 

We would be really grateful if you could spare five minutes to help us
improve our service. Please click on the link below and fill in our survey
– we use every piece of feedback we receive:
[1]http://www.surveyshack.com/link/f959

 

If I can be of any further help, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jean Fulker

Customers & Engagement Officer

Direct Dial: 01491 828307

 

Environment Planning & Engagement

Environment Agency

South East Region, West Thames Area

Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford

OX10 8BD

 

[2]https://brand2.environment-agency.gov.uk... Flood
alert:
Flooding is
possible.
Be prepared
Be prepared
to act on
your flood
plan.
Prepare a
flood kit
of
essential
items.
Monitor
local water
levels and
the flood
forecast on
our website
[3]https://brand2.environment-agency.gov.uk... Flood
warning:
Flooding is
expected.
Immediate
action
required.
Move
family,
pets and
valuables
to a safe
place. Turn
off gas,
electricity
and water
supplies if
safe to do
so. Put
flood
protection
equipment
in place.
[4]https://brand2.environment-agency.gov.uk... Severe
flood
warning:
Severe
flooding.
Danger to
life.
Stay in a
safe place
with a
means of
escape. Be
ready
should you
need to
evacuate
from your
home.
Co-operate
with the
emergency
services.
Call 999 if
you are in
immediate
danger.

 

If you are in a flood risk areas please sign up to our free flood warning
system. This is the most immediate and localised source of information on
flooding: visit [5]www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or call 0845 988
1188.

 

[6]cid:image013.png@01CDCF03.D7D0F6A0 You can follow us on Twitter at
@EnvAgencySE

 

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Fulker,

Thank you for your reply.

You say: "We have sent you all the development proposal documents that were provided
to us by SEPEL. There is no real need for a full design drawing at
present, as it is only a proposal and the detail for any scheme will be
much further down the process."

Can you please confirm that you sent me all the devlopment documents that were submitted by SEPEL in accordance with EoI Phase II Part 3 Developer Submission Requirements, including: under the heading "Development", the required Development Programme; under the heading "Commercial", the required Development Costs, Commercial Arrangements and Lease Arrangements; under the heading "Risk", the Project Risk and, under the heading "Benefits", the Scheme Benefits.

If you did not include these documents, will you please send them to me.

Thank you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

Thank you for your enquiry that is being dealt with by our Customers and
Engagement Team in West Thames area.  

 

We will respond to your enquiry as soon as we can.  Where possible we will
provide a full response within 10 working days.  Should we require further
information to deal with your request, or we require payment, we will
endeavour to contact you within a couple of days.  Please be aware that
when we are receiving large numbers of enquires or your request is more
complex, we may take up to 20 working days to respond in full.

 

If a charge applies to your enquiry we will send you an invoice requesting
payment and will action your request once payment has been received.

 

If you have any further questions, please contact us directly on 01491
828665 or at [1]wt[Environment Agency request email] 

 

 

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should still check any attachment before opening it.
We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the sender or recipient, for business purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:wt[Environment Agency request email]

WT Enquiries, Environment Agency

4 Atodiad

Dear Mr Post

 

Our ref WT 10448

 

Many thanks for your e-mail of 25 June.

 

Please now find attached our letter of response, documents requested and
our standard notice for the permitted use of our data.

 

 

We would be really grateful if you could spare five minutes to help us
improve our service. Please click on the link below and fill in our survey
– we use every piece of feedback we receive:
[1]http://www.surveyshack.com/link/f959

 

If I can be of any further help, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jean Fulker

Customers & Engagement Officer

Direct Dial: 01491 828307

 

Environment Planning & Engagement

Environment Agency

South East Region, West Thames Area

Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford

OX10 8BD

 

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir