National Trust farms diversifying into growing energy – something old and something new

The Blaen Coed weir nearing completion. Green Earth hydro just connecting the 250mm pipe to the weir ready for the landscaping around the site

The Blaen Coed weir nearing completion. Green Earth hydro just connecting the 250mm pipe to the weir ready for the landscaping around the site

Lucy, Emyr and I spent this morning at two farms on the Ysbyty Ifan estate in Snowdonia. First was Rhydlanfair farm looking at a potential hydro and then on to Blaen Coed looking at one going in. Tom at Rhydlanfair is considering a hydro where one had been before adding to his new PV system on the shed. (one of those hidden Hydro s again!) The turbine building and a pretty substantial weir are still in place. The question for this low head site is to see how much water is practical to abstract and if there are any migratory fish to take into consideration. The main grid is very close but the farm is on a single phase. First things first is to get someone in to model the catchment and to look at the sites constraints including having a good chat with the EA

The old hydro at Rhydlanfair. Weir, pipe and turbine building still in place. Low head high volume system. lets see what Tom can do

The old hydro at Rhydlanfair. Weir, pipe and turbine building still in place. Low head high volume system. lets see what Tom can do

The second site of the morning was to look at the progress of NT tenant Edward Richie at Blaen Coed who has been forging ahead with his 60kw turgo hydro. He is hoping to be generating by the end of the week and then following a few weeks of tidying “job done’ This should be a quick payback system. I have to say the quality of work  he has been doing himself in building the weir, turbine building along with the careful pipe work is exemplary. Difficult landscape but using local contractors and his own skill he is ending up with a really high quality outcome. I was also there to look at the site in terms of suitability for a 30kw PV system…this farm will be growing some serious energy in the next few weeks

Blaen Coed power house. Edward has doen a fatasic job in locating the building in the landscape. Plenty of room inside and nice features such as the steel i beam to make the removal of the turbine easier in the future

Blaen Coed power house. Edward has done a fantastic job in locating the building in the landscape. Plenty of room inside and nice features such as the steel i beam to make the removal of the turbine easier in the future. (PS Lucy in the picture – student from Bangor with us for a few weeks more)

Weir location is low in the landscape. once the mitigation is completed you wont see it

Weir location is low in the landscape. Once the mitigation is completed you wont see it

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