An exciting new scheme is being developed in the Anafon Valley, near the village of Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd. The community is getting behind a brand new hydroelectricity project, harnessing the power of the Afon Anafon in what will be a 270kW run-off-river scheme. The scheme, which was originally an idea developed by the Abergwyngregyn Regeneration Company (ARC), is now being overseen by Ynni Anafon Energy (YAE), a community Industrial and Provident Society, managed by residents of the village.
The project will see water extracted from the Afon Anafon via a 1m high weir, and channelled into a 45mm pipe that will descend 234 metres vertically over a distance of 3km through the Carneddau mountain range, partly through National Trust land. The water will finally be returned to the Afon Anafon near its confluence with Afon Rhaeadr, after it has passed through the turbine house. This project will allow Abergwyngregyn to become self-sufficient in electricity generation, creating 1,000MWh of clean, green electricity a year, enough to power 230 homes, and preventing over 450 tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year. The project will be the largest community run hydroelectric scheme in North Wales. By selling the energy produced back to the grid, YAE will be able to fund community initiatives and ventures in not only Abergwyngregyn, but also the surrounding communities, via the Abergwyngregyn Community Trust.
YAE are finally at the stage of securing investment in the project, and will soon be offering shares in the scheme to part fund the construction. Shares will be available to purchase from the beginning of community energy fortnight on the 13th of September 2014. To mark this landmark stage, YAE and the community are hosting “Aber Dabba Doo”, Abergwyngregyn Festival 2014, on Saturday the 13th of September. Starting at 11am, Aber Dabba Doo promises to be a fun day out for all the family, with a traditional village fête, local celebrities such as Iolo Williams, the much loved duck race, and a whole selection of live music including Penrhyn Male Voice Choir, not to mention stalls by local business, local crafts and local food and drink outlets.
This scheme is being backed by, Fit for the Future, a branch of the National Trust that are giving support to projects such as this. Fit for the Future has the the aim of inspiring other people to become more sustainable and to reach government targets of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and an increase to 15% of UK energy consumption to be from renewable sources by 2020.