One of the most satisfying projects I’m working on at present is a feasibility project to develop a Hydro joint venture with a community in Snowdonia. This project presents new challenges for me and the National Trust esp in fulfilling its ‘Going local’ strategy. As well as the technical part of seeing if its worth or should we build a 450kw hydro in the mountains in Snowdonia. The other aspect is looking at how we work with the community in terms of of a possible community company (community energy company, or cooperative and so on). It is also interesting in the fact that half of the hydro esp the turbine house is off National Trust land and managed by statutory body who are helping in a big way as well as all of the other statutory bodies who are helping . (no brainer is often mentioned with this project)
We’ve been working on the project for some six months and i have to say the commitment, skills and support provided by the community is making everybody involved want to make this as successful as it can be. We have already completed a desk based survey and initial scoping plan in terms of what we all see as the important factors controlling this development. Factors such as the grid connection, archaeology, ecology esp lichens and bryophytes, then we get down to how to build it and have all the hurdles to deal with. This is before we get to full feasibility. There is enough water , there is enough of a drop and the grid looks ok. The next stage is to bring in somebody to help us to look at a structure of the possible company. Running in parallel is ‘can it be built-in what is a very sensitive environment’ Civil engineers are next. The buildability (if there is such a word?) will be the next step before we get into any serious surveying’
as before watch this space!