Surveying North Anglesey a couple of days ago for suitable micro gen and larger sites. I was struck by how strong and how weak the local electricity grid is. Plenty of possible sites for small, medium and large-scale generation – wind turbines, PV galore… but. the area is bereft of 11kv /3 phase supply. You would have to go to quite large generator to afford the expense of bringing in a decent supply. One site next to the flipping big nuclear power station has super grid in abundance but the farm and area has single phase like a cats cradle all over the place. But i have to say one thing in defence of the district network operators in N and South Wales in that i have seen a seismic shift in their attitude to micro renewables. In the last 12 months they are now trying hard to get the a grid system which was built for centralised power generation to cope with what could be seen as very small intermittent localised generation. (think of it like a tree where the main power is in the trunk and this power is pushed out to the smallest branches and has not been designed to take power back through the branches into the trunk) hence why the overhaul of the grid is so desperately needed in order to allow us all to be able to do our bit. (and then there is smart grid but that’s another blog)
the tale of two mountain ranges – we have now completed our hydro review of possible sites in Snowdonia and in the Brecon Beacons and the contrast is dramatic. Of the 15 hydro’s currently in feasibility 1 is in the Beacons and 14 are in Snowdonia. Granted we have more land in Snowdonia but we are also looking after quite a few tens of thousands of acres in the Beacons – the main difference. Access to the grid and this is due to many factors including geology (lots of valleys traversing Snowdonia) massif, history , lots of large generation either side of Snowdonia and so on)
Oh yes and found myself another mill with a water wheel i knew nothing about. This is
becoming a habit!