Community hydro progress. They have been breeding!

people-GorsenOur work on supporting, fostering and enabling the development of community energy organisations and companies is growing. Sharing our experiences, partnering or providing them with resources (me) is proving to be a good mix. 1) Work with the Abergwyngregyn community on the Anafon 500kw or 300kw hydro (depends on abstraction) is moving well and we should be ready to submit a full planning application before the end of July. This is being accelerated because of the threat of the supposed 20% cut in the feed in tariff for hydros 2) Partneriaeth Ogwen around Bethesda and we are looking at the reuse of the large 1929 quarry hydro. Last week we got the fantastic news that the group have been successful in gaining a sizable feasibility grant from the Welsh Government supported Ynni’r Fro program (community energy fund) we have some ‘t’s to cross before we can progress. The two landowners involved who have been open and easy to work with 3) As of four weeks ago I am  now involved with a third community energy group. We  set up YnNI Padarn Peris which is a community group undertaking to develop energy generation opportunities through the valley. Current work which is flying along is investigating the use of community buildings for a possible medium scale PV. The income from which we hope would develop larger scale generation and provide community benefit. More on this later! 4) The fourth which is being scoped is a S Wales based community energy undertaking with a network of really enthusiastic farmers. We are investigating a community and farm based generation project . Plenty of opportunities. PV, hydro, biomass and so on. Much more on this This seems like a really good time for communities to grab the opportunity but i also understand any reticence. The moveable feast which is the feed in tariff, uncertainty on the DECC community energy strategy and we have noticed a lot of private companies ‘renewable energy prospecting’ as well. Tis interesting times but also makes you realise what a community could gain long-term if they grab the opportunity

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