Snowdon Hydro

Hafod y Llan 640kw hydro. Follow the photo diary of the work as we develop this exciting new hydro system on the southern flanks of Snowdon. In terms of scale this single hydro will supply enough electricity to supply all of the electricity needs of every mansion and house we manage in Wales.

Intake. End of November 2013. Photo by Mills

Intake. End of November 2013. Photo by Mills

Building of the powerhouse 'tops out' with the roof now installed.

Building of the powerhouse ‘tops out’ with the roof now installed. Oct 13

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Intake complete

Completed intake with Coanda screen. Oct 13. Photo: RT.

Floor cast turbine house taking shape

Floor cast turbine house taking shape

Wall going upwards and floor ready to be cast.

Wall going upwards and floor ready to be cast.

Manifold concreted in finale location

Manifold concreted in finale location

Pipe manifld snowdonia

Pipe manifold in place ready to be concreted in.

Manifold

GHJ contractors men, when little used to play with meccano good practice for bigger work, Pipe manifold take shape before being buried in concrete.

flat pack power house cladding. the cladding comes in convenient packs (trees) and we simply have to cut them to size. This larch will be converted and used to clad the building.

flat pack power house cladding. the cladding comes in convenient packs (trees) and we simply have to cut them to size. This larch will be converted and used to clad the building.

Work on the backend of the Hydro scheme takes shape. as the outlet to let water back into the river is put in.  The transformer room can be seen in the back ground.

Work on the backend of the Hydro scheme takes shape, as the outlet to let water back into the river is put in. The transformer room can be seen in the back ground.

Here come the rains. Intake holding up nicely. Photo GHJones. Aug 13

Here come the rains. Intake holding up nicely. Coanda screen to go on next. Photo GHJones. Aug 13

Gabion walls taking shape at the powerhouse. Photo GHJones

Gabion walls taking shape at the powerhouse. Photo GHJones

Watkin Path taking shape

Watkin Path taking shape

Reinstating the Watkin path.

Reinstating the Watkin path and finishing work on the weir point nearly finished, picture by Rhys Thomas

Concrete  work  on hydro Snowdonia.

Foundation concreting work takes shape on the new power house.

Stone cladding work at the intake. June 13. Photo DS.

Stone cladding work at the intake. June 13. Photo DS.

Some rain did not dampen the resolve of people to see the work on the inlet.

Another group of hardy soles reaches the inlet work, on the demonstration day at Hafod y Llan.

Concrete pour on intake. June '13

Concrete pour on intake. June ’13

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NT Rangers inspecting the works.

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Concrete mixing at the intake. May 13

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Pipe welding coming down the mountain. May 13

Turbine snowdonia

Fitting the new turbine house out on the small hydro scheme

Watkin Path

Pipe route with the welding equipment in the distance the WatkinPath in the foreground.

Sheep moved around the farm

Farming goes on with the hydro work progressing

Pipe across the road

How did the pipe cross the road? In the air when it’s suspended by two Land Rovers.
Work on the small hydro at the farm gathers a pace as the pipe work goes up the hill.

Last pipe Cwm Llan

Section number 15 arrives at the weir point. The last pipe required for the top section of the route. Transporting it up to the top on the ground could have proven very dangerous as well as damaging to the track.

Helli lift Cwm Llan

The first section of pipe flown up to the weir point in Cwm Llan another 14 needed.

Cat and dog

Cat and dog

Working in the snow

Work on the pipeline route goes on where the pipe will be buried

Long Long pipes

Jcb makes light work of handling the pipes.

JCB working on Snowdon

JCB makes light work of unloading the pipes.

The first load of pipe for the hydro on Snowdon

The first load of pipe for the hydro on Snowdon

Root protection Snowdonia

Root protection track work going in to protect older vulnerable trees.

Dave,  Arwyn, Meirch and Meg inspecting the footpath diversion

Dave, Arwyn, Meirch and Nell inspecting the footpath diversion. White heli-bags in the distance

chiselThe quartz snaps another chisel, one tough mountain.

Temporary footpath diversion near the weir site.

Temporary footpath diversion near the weir site.

Arwyn and Meirch inspect the intake location.

Arwyn the Farm Manager at the intake location.

Rhys guiding in the next load of materials

Rhys guiding in the next load of materials on the Watkin path

Saturday and 50 tonnes of material moved up to the weir by helicopter

Saturday and 50 tonnes of material moved up to the weir by helicopter

Some images of our environmental, ecological and archaeological protection measures during the works:

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Straw bales limiting and filtering any run off from the works

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Fencing off wet flushes and archaeology

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Fencing provides root protection near the powerhouse site

Kubota on the way down Cat on the way up.

The 13 tonne machine makes progress with out disturbing the mountain wall and the smaller Kubota comes down to meet it.

13 ton cat works its way up snowdon

Caterpillar 13 tonne digger on hydro scheme to harness the power of water.

13 ton Cat working on Snowdon

13 tonne Cat working on Snowdon

13 Tonne machine made light work of the rock corner. Note the drystone wall still intact on the left. Photo - DS

13 Tonne machine made light work of the rock corner. Note the dry stone wall still intact. Photo DS. 21/1

Hafod y Llan hydro

Top machine making its way down.

hydro work snowdonia
Cat makes its way up Snowdon to the pipeline route, to start working upwards to take advantage of better weather. Jan 13
Hydro work snowdonia

The 13 tonne machine makes it way up to the pipe route, past the root protection fencing erected to prevent accidental damage to trees during excavation and construction of the hydro.

VA VA VOOMWhen is a green van not green, when it is white (soon to be brown),  Electric power Renault van.

Country side rangers are va va vooming  around the estate,  ideal for pottering around.  Ideal for fetching and carrying light loads.

The Saudi Arabia group admiring the new bridge

The Saudi Arabia group admiring the new bridge

A group came from Saudi Arabia to the farm on a fact-finding mission about sheep industry. Apart from feeling the cold on an ice morning what took their attention was the river coming from Cwm Llan how crystal clean it is and quantity of water.
Annual rain fall top of Hafod y Llan 4000mm
Annual rain fall Saudi Arabia     10mm
What we get in one year takes 400 years out there aren’t we lucky

Spot the DiggerLooks small in the grand scheme of things.

Spot the Digger
Looks small in the grand scheme of things.

New bridge leading to the powerhouse site. Dec 12

New bridge leading to the powerhouse site. Dec 12

Digger has now crossed the river and is working on the pipe route above the archaeology. Above is Y Lliwedd mountain.

Digger has now crossed the river and is working on the pipe route above the archaeology. Above is Y Lliwedd mountain. Dec 2012

Mountain so big and we need to scratch at its surface. Afon Cwm Llan – Nov 2012

Pegging out a restricted corridor of working on the pipe route where Wet Flushes are present. Nov 2012

Dave marks the site boundary at the intake in order to protect the ecology and archaeology Nov 2012

landscape image of the hydro route

Autumn on the lower section of Afon Cwm Llan before it gets to the farm

Down from the weir point…and people canoe down here!

The proposed weir point on Afon Cwm Llan

 

19 Responses to Snowdon Hydro

  1. Pingback: Large hydro getting closer – Hafod y Llan on Snowdon | National Trust Going Green

  2. Pingback: large hydro getting closer – Hafod y Llan 650kw hydro | National Trust Going Green

  3. Hi – it would be great if someone could come and talk about this project on the Welsh National Eisteddfod’s Green Field this year. Please see http://www.maesg.org.uk and seek out the “e-Coleg” – our lectures tent. We have many interesting and distinguished speakers lined up so far, and would like Keith Jones or someone else to come and talk about the NT in Wales – yn y Gymraeg os gwelwch yn dda – in Welsh. Diolch. nathan@maesg.org.uk

  4. Pingback: Hafod y Llan Hydro. Blog 1: Planning permission is gained for Snowdon Hydro | National Trust Going Green

  5. Just wanted to say “Good Luck”. A great idea and scheme that will I am sure be almost invisible when you are finished, but still provide a good amount of power.

  6. Duncan O says:

    I walked up & kayaked down the creek on Sunday and was dismayed to see the heavy machinery dotted all the way up the mountainside, however I took a look at the small weir at the bottom of Llanberis falls and I understand that it doesn’t greatly affect the river levels when there is sufficient rain for the rapid underneath to be kayaked.
    Will the Afon Cwm Llan still be navigable after the hyroscheme is up and running?

  7. Daniel Mayrhofer says:

    Dear Mr. Jones!

    Randomly I’ve found your totally interesting articles here on this site. Especially your “Hidden Hydros” article I really like.
    Turbines like that from Gilkes often have a good substance and are more massive like new ones, so I definitely think that reusing such turbines is a good idea.
    For example I am interested in this Gilkes-Turbine (spiral-casing made from cast-iron) – do you think that I could have or buy this turbine?
    Or do you know other turbines or parts like runners and spiral-casings that I could have or buy?
    For the refurbishment I would know professionals here in Austria.

    I am really looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

    Best regards.
    Daniel Mayrhofer
    Austria / 8254

    • Keith Jones says:

      Thanks for the contact. Gilkes post 1930 pelton and turgo are worth quite a bit if money and are usually refurbished and used again. The smaller Francis systems are also valuable with a few companies our there ready to refurbish. If I hear of any which are available I will let you know. All the best

  8. Sam says:

    Very cool project! I am working on one myself in Packwood WA, USA. We had to fly the intake and penstock in with a helicopter as well. The only other access was on US Forest Service land and was closed to all motorized vehicles. I have some photos posted on Facebook under the Name Burton Creek Hydro. Keep up the good work!

  9. Pingback: …but no idea » The Missed Nail

  10. Pingback: Tan Delta | Renewable Energy in Borneo

  11. Pingback: The biggest National Trust renewable energy project to date. The Hafod y Llan Snowdon hydro is on! | National Trust Going Green

  12. Iain Greig says:

    A very interesting article, especially the detail on avoiding ecological damage and the use of heli lifts to minimise impact. A look at the rainpower i.e. website will show details of similar schemes in southern Ireland, some located in designated SAC. A dramatic change from the early 70’s when Noranda Mines were actively prospecting and drilling on Hafod Y Llan and I was a very junior geologist.

  13. Robin says:

    Having used the Afon Cwm Llan for many years as a site for conducting river studies with my students I find it to be one of my favourite parts of Snowdonia. The hydro plant is an unobtrusive addition to what could be argued as a brownfield site after the area had been worked for many years in the previous centuries. What I am very interested in is whether you or those responsible for the hydro system have streamflow data from the inlet at the top of the falls, that could be shared. It would make for very useful secondary data for my students when comparing it to their own. Many thanks.

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