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Gwynedd Village To Build 500kW Hydro Scheme and Support Future Initiatives

Village to build own pounds 1.5m power station; PROFITS WILL SUPPORT COMMUNITY PROJECTS 
VILLAGERS in Gwynedd have revealed a pounds 1.5 million plan to launch a hydro power scheme. Members of the Abergwyngregyn Regeneration Company say plans to install the 500 kw hydro power scheme would power homes would help cut down bills.
Money generated from the scheme, which generates electricity from the River Anafon, would be poured in to community projects. Hywel Thomas, chairman of the Aber Regeneration Company explained: “We had the raw materials on our doorstep. It was an opportunity that arose with discussions with the National Trust.
“We are absolutely delighted. The expertise and support will make a significant difference to our aims of developing community-owned hydro power. The scheme is a unique opportunity to work with The Co-operative, National Trust, Forestry Commission and other parties to realise a project that will not only benefit local communities but also promote renewable energy more widely.
“Over recent years the area has seen the loss of many amenities and the potential income from the Anafon Hydro could provide these communities with the resources to address these issues in a sustainable manner. One of our aims is to establish a Community Fund to support energy saving projects and community amenities and services. We’ve carried out consultations with the community. Everybody’s in support of it.”
Mr Thomas added that the money generated by the government backed feed in tariff could be allocated to other groups or residents who were keen on renewable energy schemes or anyone hoping to start up a new business in the area.
The community group was one of only seven groups in the UK to win the community energy challenge backed the Co-operative group recently.
After presenting the plans for the hydro power scheme, the group were shortlisted out of hundreds of other groups to reach the final.
Hywel and the team get to share pounds 200,000 among the groups to help fund the project. A project mentor will also work alongside the group for 18 months to see the project through to its end which is expected to officially launch in 2014.
Keith Jones, National Trust Wales Environmental Adviser said: “This exciting approach of pooling skills and experience for the benefit of the community is very much key to the success of the Anafon Hydro project. It is just such a partnership approach to sustainable energy generation that can provide a long term local solution to a global problem.”
Paul Monaghan, The Co-operative’s Head of Social Goals added: “Ambitious community-led projects can contribute to a step-change in people’s thinking about energy and, inspire others to take action – providing a catalyst for a clean energy revolution across the UK.”
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Copyright 2012 The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo Ltd
All Rights Reserved

Source: Power Engineering 

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