Snowdon Hydro and what we will be measured on!

Aron on the weir cladding in local stone. Slate and screen still needed to finish. Wall on the left has the compensation flow to maintain the river flow

Aron on the weir cladding in local stone. Slate and screen still needed to finish. Wall on the left has the compensation flow to maintain the river flow. Three or four more weeks and the river will be flowing over the weir and the job of landscaping can start.

Kw’s and cash are two things to measure success of a hydro. Aesthetics and impact are another couple for the National Trust. The detailing work on the weir is going ahead at a rate of knots. The Ranger team have been costed into the project are now showing their skills by cladding the weir to make it ‘melt’ into the background. After all the photomontaging and trial panels it’s now the real aspect of making a serious piece of civil engineering blend in or at least become secondary to its surroundings. What can’t be clad in local stone will be clad in precision cut rough slate and even the cap for the compensation pipe (on left) will be covered in a metal plate which will rust quickly and then stop (clever!). 60,000 people walking up Snowdon on the Watkin path are not going there to see a hydro although the hydro is just another layer in the valleys industrial heritage. The weir is a functional piece of engineering which should be recognised but not dominate its surroundings. We have been challenged by many to ensure our renewable energy projects ‘add’ to a sites significance and this will only be achieved if we get the location and setting right but also the detailing. I will be back in a few weeks to see the finished article and let you compare!

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