The UK’s First Carbon Neutral Marinas – Pridewater Estates Ltd Provide 100% Green Energy Marinas

With the completion of a green energy generating hydro screw in Sonning, Berkshire, Pridewater Estates Ltd will become the UK’s first completely carbon neutral marina and caravan site organisation.

Pridewater Estates Ltd owns and operates four canal marinas and caravan sites which are spread across the UK from near to Leighton Buzzard in the south, to New Mills in Derbyshire’s High Peak, with another near Lichfield, and one on the outskirts of Tamworth. The combined berthing capability of these marinas sits currently at over 300 boats and such facilities has meant the energy required to run all four marinas each year was significant – an output to the environment which Pridewater Estates has always worked to minimise.

Ever aware of their carbon footprint, Pridewater Estates already make use of solar panels where possible at their marina locations however were looking to see how far they could go to cancel out their environmental impact completely. The answer came in the form of a highly efficient hydroelectric scheme – an Archimedes screw.

An Archimedes screw is an energy generator which works by water falling naturally over a cascade, rotating the screw, which moves a turbine and generates electricity. While not feasible to install a hydro screw at each marina location, the idea came to build one screw which would produce enough energy to not only offset all four marinas at once but also provide a surplus which could be fed back into the National Grid.

To this end, Pridewater Estates acquired a site to construct the green energy hydro screw in the beautiful Thames-side town of Sonning, Berkshire. The design and build was conducted by experienced civil engineering contractors Greenford Ltd who have been responsible for several other notable Archimedes screw projects including Blenheim Palace and the listed Mapledurham Watermill.


  • The Sonning hydro site houses a 99kw generator driven by a 25 tonne Archimedes screw
  • The screw is 4.2 metres in diameter, with a flow rate of 8,000 litres per second – sufficient to fill approximately 275 Olympic sized swimming pools every day!
  • This site now has the capacity to generate enough power to supply approx. 2,000kwh every 24 hours – this is equivalent to offsetting approximately 150 average sized UK houses a year*
  • The screw is set to produce approximately 730,000kwh per year – almost double the 440,000kwh per annum used by all four Pridewater Estate marina and caravan sites combined!
  • The site also provides other ecological benefits including a fish pass which allows the continued safe passage of fish and other native fauna

Robert Hutton, co-owner of Pridewater Estates Ltd, said, “Reviewing the ever increasing electricity running costs at our four marinas, coupled with an unexpected opportunity to acquire a suitable site on the Thames, led us to the decision to make this significant investment. We believe Pridewater Estates will be the first carbon neutral canal marina and caravan site operator in Great Britain and we will be able to play our own small part in tackling global warming and promoting green solutions to power generation.

Thrilled to be an industry sustainability pioneer

Another benefit of this initiative is to be able to provide marina and caravan sites for our customers to enjoy knowing we are a part of Britain’s incredible environmental landscape while minimising the mark made on it. Pridewater Estates are thrilled to be an industry sustainability pioneer and to operate 100% carbon neutral marinas.”

To find out more about this green energy sustainability initiative and to view their marina locations please visit the Pridewater Estates Ltd website

The UK’s First Carbon Neutral Marinas - Pridewater Estates Ltd Provide 100% Green Energy Marinas

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The UK’s First Carbon Neutral Marinas - Pridewater Estates Ltd Provide 100% Green Energy Marinas
BDC August 2022 issue - 295

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