One of Good Energy’s longest running partnerships is with the Glen Lyn Gorge hydroelectric plant in Devon. We’ve been buying 100% renewable electricity from this site since just after Good Energy was founded, back in 1999.  

This small-scale hydro generator in Lynmouth generates 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (1.5GHw) of electricity per year. It remains the largest privately owned hydroelectricity scheme in Britain, and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its owner, Matthew Oxenham, to putting his environmental values into practice. 

Historic beginnings 

A hydroelectricity generator first opened at Glen Lyn in 1890, making the area one of the first in Britain to be supplied with electricity in this way. The original system was damaged in severe flooding in the 1950s, and reopened the following decade in serious need of more renovation.  

Matthew’s father, Ken Oxenham, bought the land and set about reinvigorating the hydro scheme. This involved a small team accessing the gorge by abseiling down the walls, with pipework strapped to their backs! 

Glen Lyn Gorge started generating again in 1987 and has been supplying 100% renewable electricity ever since. 

Living by Matthew’s values 

Matthew is committed to reducing his environmental impact however he can. This includes not having a computer or being connected to the internet – which means all communications with Good Energy’s generator team are via post or phone. 

Glen Lyn Gorge sells electricity to Good Energy because Matthew feels confident that we accommodate his principles, and share his commitment to getting more green energy into the grid.  

“Good Energy are one of the few companies that deal only in renewables and are actively encouraging more small-scale generation”. 

Matthew Oxenham of Glen Lyn Gorge hydroelectricity generator.
The power of water 

As well as generating electricity, Glen Lyn Gorge invites visitors to learn about hydro power through its visitor centre. It’s ‘power of water’ exhibition focuses on climate science and encourages everyone who visits to learn about the role renewable sources play in reducing the environmental impact of energy. 

The generator is currently being upgraded, with the goal of doubling its capacity. We’re proud to work with people committed to tackling climate change through sustainable energy. 

Watch the rest of our meet the generator series here.

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