A Denbighshire town’s very own renewable hydro-electric scheme promising power to the people has been hailed a success by Wales’s energy minister.
Lesley Griffiths AM, the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, visited Corwen to officially open Corwen Electricity Cooperative’s hydro-electric scheme.
The Cabinet Secretary, the Assembly Member for Wrexham, attended the launch of the scheme at the town’s Canolfan Ni and then visited the town’s turbine house for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The turbine house is in the town center and is driven by the Nant y Pigyn and Nant Cawrddu streams which plunge 500 feet from a reservoir high above Corwen to generate 55 kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to supply 40 homes a year.
The Minister Cabinet Secretary said, “This is a wonderful example of a renewable energy scheme which is operated by local people who have played a huge part in the project from the very start.
“We are delighted to support the scheme through our rural development program and our local energy service, working together to help the community deliver a robust locally owned project.”
The scheme is largely owned by local people who are now set to benefit from cheaper electricity. The project was developed by rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd.
The agency provided a £12,000 feasibility study through LEADER as part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Program, which is financed by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
LEADER is a fund for rural areas in Wales to explore innovative new approaches and experimental technologies to tackle poverty, create jobs and drive sustainable economic development.
The co-operative has helped set up the Corwen Energy Club which aims to start repaying local residents for their backing with cheaper electricity.
Silas Jones, the Cadwyn Clwyd Project Officer who has overseen the scheme, said, “It’s a fantastic example of people power and of power to the people and we’ve been so impressed by the support the project has had, not just in Corwen but across the UK.”
To date Cadwyn Clwyd has allocated over £5 million on LEADER projects across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.