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Monmouth Forge Generating Station, site of
Forge Road, Osbaston, Monmouthshire, UK
associated engineer
Not known
date  1899
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Power Generation  |  reference  SO503137
ICE reference number  HEW 1018
One of the earliest public electricity generators in Britain, Monmouth Forge Generating Station originally supplied high voltage electricity for the lighting of the town of Monmouth in Wales. It used the River Monnow as the power source. In 2009, hydroelectric power began once again to be generated at this location.
The power station was built on the site of Monmouth Forge, where there had been iron and tin works since 1628. The station was first commissioned in 1899 and consisted a brick building to house the turbines, and a reservoir that fed water to the works via a canal.
The reservoir was bounded by a weir (HEW 1269), used by the original forge, the height of which was raised to increase reservoir capacity.
The generating building housed three alternators ó each 7kW, 3,000V and 60 cycles single phase alternating current ó driven by water turbines beneath the building. Each alternator had a standby steam engine for power in case of drought. Another steam engine, replaced by an oil-fired engine in 1923, drove a 21kW generator. There were a number of transformers in the town to reduce the voltage to the 100-110V required by the consumers.
The power station was sold to a private firm in 1930. The UK's National Grid continued to buy electricity from it until 1953.
In autumn 2008, Environment Agency Wales completed work on a £600,000 fish pass to allow salmon to spawn upstream of the weir. During the course of the work, the remains of the power station were discovered. Local landowner Ronald Kear decided to rebuild a small hydroelectric scheme alongside the fish pass.
The new scheme, run by Old Manor Electric Company, uses water power to turn a reverse Archimedes screw. The screw is connected to a generator and produces some 670,000kWh of electricity per year, which is sold to the National Grid. The heat generated by the motors heats Mr Kearís home.
The combined fish pass and hydroelectric project was opened officially by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, on 23rd September 2009.
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH W&W

Monmouth Forge Generating Station, site of