The commissioning of the power station is generally running well and we remain on course to start commercial operations before the end of this year.
As part of a series of comprehensive tests, we are operating the power plant for different periods of time and we are generating electricity into the National Grid at varying levels. These tests are designed to check the reliability and efficiency of the power station, and to ensure that it runs safely without any incident. These tests will continue until we are 100% satisfied that the station is operating as it should for commercial operation.
River Test discharge
In May, we reported on a harmless white foam discharge into the River Test and in July we posted a bulletin on the Parish Council noticeboards, on the Parish website and this website to update people on the matter. To recap, initial scientific tests had confirmed that the foaming had been caused by jelly fish entering the station’s water intake and outfall, and after further examination by marine biologists it was shown the foam was made up of other organic material as well as jelly fish.
Whilst the foam has not been causing any harm to the plant and marine life in the Test, we considered the visual impact to be unacceptable and have been working closely with the Environment Agency and Siemens, the power station contractor, to identify a solution to the problem. We have introduced a number of measures (for example, booms and sprays) but further work is still required by Siemens and ourselves to find a long-term engineering solution. We are concentrating on reducing the turbulence of the water that goes through the station in order to stop the foam being generated. The matter was considered at the Local Liaison Group (July 9th), chaired by Councillor David Harrison. Representatives of the Environment Agency were present at the meeting.
Supporting the local community
The Solar4Schools programme has been completed with six schools in the area benefiting from the scheme, part-funded by the Government and Marchwood Power. We understand that the reaction from pupils and teachers has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Looking ahead, we are starting to consider other initiatives to support the Marchwood area in order to build upon the success of the solar programme and our other educational work. With the Parish Council, we are looking at ways to improve the local landscape in and around Marchwood, and we intend to invite people, in particular local students and local community groups, to visit the station when we are formally open for business.
This Development Update will be published in the September issue of the Marchwood Village News.