Hafod y Llan the National Trust farm on Snowdon recently received planning permission for a <20kw hydro system but this hydro will be using infrastructure built-in over a 120 years ago
In 1892 Sir Edward Watkin or the ‘Nearly man of Northenden’ as the Watkin family website calls him completed a small hydro system on the southern flanks of Snowdon to supply electricity to his ‘chalet’. The ruins of which (hydro and chalet) can be seen alongside the alternate start to the Watkin path. One of the main footpaths up Snowdon.
His claim to fame was as a railway magnate. His triumphs include the Great Canadian Pacific railway and his influences extended to India, The Congo, Greece and many of the railways in the UK. The Nearly bit refer to his attempt to build the channel tunnel some 100 years before the current one and a tower to rival Eiffel
The new hydro is about to be redeveloped by the National Trust who having recently gained
planning permission to build the system using many of the original Edward Watkin features such as the small lake constructed high above the chalet site. Most of the original pipe-work can still be seen as well as the original turbine house.(the pelton generators was also still in situ until some 10 years ago) as we start construction i will update the blog so that you can see how we meet the challenge of building a hydro system in such a special landscape. The hydro itself is some 60m from the National Trust Hafod y Llan Snowdon farm and should generate up to 125% of the energy use of the farm and the National Trust campsite