Thursday was a good day. we were invited by the Climate Change Environment and Rural Affairs Committee in Welsh government to show our plans, discussions and projects and so on Wednesday we had an NT and partners day. The weather was superb (cold, snow on the peaks and sunny) the 7 Assembly members of the committee visited a National Trust tenanted farm to see and discuss the future of the uplands, which is very pertinent given all the uncertainties. What do we want the uplands to do for us? there was a good couple of sessions organised by the local farmers, RSPB and ourselves. Plenty food for thought. Abandonment will give us one outcome, stewardship will give us another. From here we went to Bwthyn Ogwen for lunch and an orientation to the Ogwen Valley. We were discussing the new heating system for the centre, the use and further partnerships in the development of Bwthyn Ogwen, which is primarily to get young people up into the mountains.
Down the valley to meet the Community of Bethesda developing the Ogwen Hydro (Ynni Ogwen) and Energy Local supply system. (we also had Ynni Padarn Peris and Anafon community hydro representatives there as well.) Sharing what we had learnt. The 100kw low head hydro is now more than 50% complete. Gwyn Roberts the contractors were in fact slate roofing the powerhouse when we visited and also fusion welding the 900mm penstock (supply pipe). The Assembly Members were in receive and questioning mode in terms of how difficult renewable energy systems are to develop and also how things could be made more streamlined
End of the day was in Penrhyn Castle to officially open the new 300kw biomass system at the castle. But also to recognise the fact that this was the last major oil use property in National Trust Wales to ‘get off oil’ thanks to the National Trust Renewable energy Investment program and especially because of the skills of the project manager Elgan Roberts. We have a stunning building made from the timber at the property and burns fuel from less than 15 miles away.