Its been a mad three months in the community energy sector but feels like stuff is now settling having seen huge changes in support mechanisms (money!) and perceived agreements with the Government. So whats happening on the ground…?
The superb news is that the £1m Anafon Community 270kw Hydro started generating on the 7th of Dec (ps 280,000 kwh since then!). The team has been superb and never giving up. They had a slight washout around the weir because of the rain around Christmas but this is an easy repair. The next step is to train as many local people as possible to maintain the system and let it bed down for a while! More to come
Llanberis hydro is fully pre-accredited, leases signed all the permissions in place and now its about raising capital. The last month or so is about gearing up for a share offer launch on the 27th of Feb and working towards the May build. Llanberis and Bethesda were successful in being chosen by the Gwynedd Local Action Group (EU Leader funding) as the pilot projects for marketing and crowd funding support. (we have a TV company working with us… more to come) we have had to work hard to reduce the costs of the hydro to make sure we have as much benefit for the community as possible… work in progress but looking ok
Bethesda Hydro is now fully leased and approved but missed out on pre accreditation and so moves from 15p per kwh to 8p per kwh. Where the Government got its fig of 9% return is beyond me on 8.6p per kwh. With grants, donations, volunteers, and cutting the project to the bone but we can’t get anywhere near this 9% figure. We have a return but thanks more to the team than the system. Both Llanberis and the Bethesda hydro will be developing together and so can share resources and support each other. Watch-out for the 27th of Feb!
Cyd Ynni the consortium of 6 community energy companies is developing well. We now have consultants working with us on the business plan. Next Friday i hope we can nail the company structure better as we have a large community meeting. We have started working on various heat projects for the group… slow burn (sorry). Finally and most excitedly the Energy Local trial is looking good for take off in early summer. We find out in the next week if we are to receive significant funding for the development of the trail in one of our communities. More income and cheaper power… whats not to like!