Next hydro stacking up nicely. Suffering for my job again!

Afon y Cwm. the river we are looking to harness for the next low impact hydro. The mountain was covered in leafless Mountain Ash full of berries looking like they were getting ready for Xmas.

Spent the afternoon in the dappled autumn sunlight on the southern flanks of Snowdon. It was either that or back at the office…it was a close call.  Visited my old wardening stamping grounds, looking at the development of the next hydro. Hafod y Llan 640hydro should have its planning permission in the next few days. We are now working on the next batch. Visited Afon y Cwm today which is another heavy metal polluted river in Snowdonia. The abstraction licence application is already in with the Environment Agency.

Afon y Cwm on the boundary between Craflwyn and Hafod y Porth farm near the community of Beddgelert

Really simple weir site. The issue with most hydros is how to build the weir and how do you take the pipe out of the river and avoid going up hill.

Now comes the head scratching bit. Design and how we build it. The advantage of this hydro more than any other we are working on is that access for the pipe is really really good. There is a track from the possible turbine house to the weir point. The weir location is simple and small. there is even an old leat near the weir for the diversion flow when we want to construct the weir.

The Challenge for this hydro is hiding the power house because of the unique location. The proposed site is near the scheduled ancient monument that is Dinas Emrys. the draft solution subject to detail is to underground some of the building and  place it between two high walls. Finally we intend to cap the building off with a grass roof

Proposed Turbine building site – it will be buried and then have a grass roof. The site is sandwiched between two seven-foot stone walls.

The old enemy on Afon y Cwm. Rhododendron Ponticum. re seeding into the heath. Behind it the agent of its destruction. Water for the hydro. The income from the hydro will be used to control and conserve the area. Moving from unreliable conservation grants to providing a long term sustainable income from the hydro.

What we hope to end up with is a 100kw pelton turbine which should produce 430Mwh pa. Or two mansions worth of energy . There are still quite a few aspects to cover including archeology, method statements, potential tree impact or mitigation and the list goes on. with a fair wind we should be able to build this next year but as I have learnt with hydros – take each day as it comes

It was a really nice day to be out surveying. Even rotting stuff looked sublime. Log near the path on the way back to Craflwyn

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