Hail Hydro - community energy scheme is a first for Denbighshire

Published date: 24 July 2014 |
Published by: Rachel Nash
Read more articles by Rachel Nash


PLANS to set up a community hydropower scheme in Corwen are at an advanced stage.

The scheme, which has been proposed by Corwen Electricity Co-operative, will incorporate a hydro turbine that will take water from the disused reservoir above Nant Cawrddu, and feed it down through a pipe to a turbine on the outskirts of the town where it will power a generator. 

Before the turbine can be built, the co-operative needs to obtain planning permission, an abstraction licence from the Natural Resources Wales, as well as permissions for the landowners on whose land the equipment and pipes will be laid.

“All these are at a very advanced stage of progress,” said Jeremy Thorp, renewable consultant for Sharenergy Co-operative.

“We’ve had extensive conversations with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the other agencies so we’re confident the planning permissions will go through,”

The hydro turbine will be community owned, with the project financed by selling shares to local people and from grants.

“The proposals have been quite well received in the community,” said Mr Thorp.

“A pioneer share offer has just been launched, this is to raise a small amount of money to cover the remaining preparation costs of getting planning permission and an abstraction licence.

“Once these permits are obtained, a larger share offer will be launched to raise the main construction funds. The total cost of the project is expected to be about £290,000.

“This is a first for Denbighshire in terms of a community co-op,” added Mr Thorp.

“There is nothing similar around here but there are schemes like it in the Brecon Beacons.”

The co-operative is currently looking for people who are interested in buying shares in the scheme. The amount of money that needs to be raised at this stage is £25,200. Those who are interested or who want to learn more about the scheme can find out more about the project at www.corwenelectricity.org.uk where a share offer document can be downloaded.

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