As part of our work we discuss with property teams the possibility of all forms of appropriate energy generation and today was no exception. The property manager at Plas Newydd as part of our quarterly meeting mentioned that the head gardener at the mansion thought that there might be an opportunity for a potential hydro on the property.
To our total amazement and hidden in the property far from the public gaze is a river which from the road seems unassuming but the river tumbles down a series of water falls and a gorge down to the sea. So thats the first tick in the box – water and a drop. But this hidden jewel is also something special in terms of … well the best i can think of is a sort of ‘middle earth’ quality especially because i also knew that not many people had seen it (its hard work but someone has to do it!)
Over the coming weeks we will keep you up to date of what it takes to asses a river for hydro potential. We will need to assess archaeology, ecology (fish, trees, lichens, biophytes, otters, birds…) aesthetics (what will it look like if its developed) how much water could be extracted? Grid (can we export the electricity) can it and should it be built? what will it cost? what do the statutory bodies think and is it appropriate and what do our neighbors think?. The hydro might never be built but it is worth looking into the possibility because of the benefit in terms of lowering Plas Newydd’s environmental impact
the team in Wales are currently investigating the feasibility of 15 hydros varying in size from 1.5kw up to over 500kw. the basic ingredients are the same but the bigger you go the bigger the impact and the more homework you have to do!! But this rule is not constant as small hydros in sensitive locations also require a lot of work…