A hydro-electric scheme in the Dee Valley which began operating just over a year ago is proving so successful that a similar project nearby is being considered.

The Corwen Electricity Co-operative raised £300,000 through the sale of £1 shares to fund the project aimed at delivering 135,000 units of electricity a year – enough to power 30 households. It is expected to raise £10,000 a year for community projects.

It was instigated by Cadwyn Clwyd, the rural regeneration agency, who spotted the potential for using the Nant-y-Pigyn stream which drops down into the valley, and landowner Lord New borough supported them from the outset.

Over 700 metres of pipework were laid to a purpose-built building housing a generator, and the scheme was commissioned in December, 2016.

The directors of the co-operative say that despite a very dry spring they came close to hitting the target, having generated 130,000kW within 12 months.

“We have had a busy year snagging and getting used to the scheme which is running very smoothly,” they say.

The official opening is likely to be in May and in the meantime the group is working with Denbighshire countryside services to secure EU funding to improve some of the walling around the turbine house and entrance to Pen-y-Pigyn woodland.

Local people will be given the chance to learn the art of dry-stone walling.

In an end-of-year statement the directors say: “We continue to look for new opportunities and are working with Cadwyn Clwyd to explore the feasibility of a 100,000kW scheme at Bonwm, just outside Corwen. We will know more about the viability of this shareholder-run scheme in early 2018.”