A DEE VALLEY town could be one of the first in Wales with its own hydro-electric power scheme.
Corwen could earn £500,000 for the community with an electricity generated scheme which would be powered by water from a reservoir above the town.
It is the brainchild of rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd who have worked with Denbighshire County Council and the Rhug Estate to develop the plans.
The ambitious plans developed alongside a £2.1 million scheme to alleviate flooding problems will be unveiled at a public meeting on Thursday, September 12, when details of the £300,000 project will be available.
They hope that one of the products of the meeting will be the formation of a board to run a not-for-profit company.
Silas Jones, Cadwyn Clwyd’s energy officer said: “We have carried out a feasibility study and it shows that the Nant y Pigyn scheme could generate 170,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power over 30 homes.
“We have worked closed with Denbighshire Council who have a project to prevent persistent flooding caused by a culvert that runs through the town, under buildings.
“They have encouraged us to develop the hydro power plan and the two will run side by side, with the flood defence scheme benefiting the hydro scheme.
“We are looking to use the water that drains down the Nant Cwrddu and Nant y Pigyn streams from the reservoir to power a generator in the town and at the same time it would prevent the Nant Cwrddu stream, which passes through a culvert under the Owain Glyndwr Hotel, from flooding after heavy rain.”
The £300,000 scheme through investors, who would be eligible for an annual dividend, decided by the locally-based board, and through loans.
Once the loans had been paid off the cash raised through the Government’s electricity feed-in tariffs would provide a guaranteed income for 20 years.
The scheme could earn Corwen £40,000 a year – with more than half that money going to the local community over a 20-year period.
Corwen County Councillor Huw Jones, cabinet member for tourism, youth and leisure, and a member of the Cadwyn Clwyd Board, welcomes the scheme.
He said: “The flood alleviation scheme is taking place and that makes the hydro project possible and if we can get local people and local organisations involved then it can be a real boost to Corwen for years to come and provide a regular income to benefit the area.”
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said: “This innovative idea could provide a huge boost for Corwen and I look forward to hearing more about the plans. I would encourage local people and organisations and businesses from the area to go along to the public meeting next week, as they will be key to getting the project off the ground.”
A public meeting will be held at the Corwen Sports Pavilion on Thursday, September 12, at 6.45pm to gauge interest in the hydro scheme with a view to forming a company to run it.
For more information on Cadwyn Clwyd’s green energy projects ring 01824 705802 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org