Beasley Hydro and weir were constructed for The Dulverton Electric Lighting Company in c1912 to supply electricity to Dulverton. It utilised two Armfield River Turbines. The factory was requisitioned during WWI.
The Dulverton Electric Lighting Company merged with the Exe Valley Electric Company in 1930, and the two Armfield River Turbines were replaced with a single vertical shafted Escher Wyss turbine. The plant continued to function until 1938, when the National Grid reached Dulverton, but the site was maintained as an emergency backup during WWII. It was decommissioned in the early 1950s, and fish tanks were installed by the Rivers Authority. These remained in use until the 1980s, whereupon the site began its slow decline.
The installation of the Beasley Weir hydro scheme was completed and commissioned in early November 1915. The installers were Renewable First Ltd.
The Archimedes screw itself is located to the side of the river Barle at the head of a newly constructed intake and sits adjacent to the large Pool and Weir fish pass situated in the main river course. The much improved Pool and Weir fish pass, does much to improve the passage of fish at this stage of the river. The requirement for the hydro scheme to enhance the aquatic ecology of the river was strongly driven by the owner of the scheme.
The hydro scheme is estimated to generate approximately 320,000 kWh of electricity per year, equivalent to powering well over 100 UK homes.
Below is a video of the completed scheme:
References: Beasley Weir Dulverton – Results of Historic Building Recording – SouthWest Archaeology
Beasley Weir Hydro Dulverton – Completed
MEM21955 – Beasley salmon trap, Dulverton (Monument)
MSO9357 – Electricity generating mill west of Pixton Park (Monument)