10 kW Hydro System powering Welsh Estate

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This 10.8 kW hydro scheme powers a historical Welsh estate in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.
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The hydro turbine, made by Hydrolite Ltd is a fantastic example of a grid linked system which supplies free clean electricity to a grade 2 listed building.
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The following article was published by the Cambrian news in April 2014:

“On the Peniarth Estate in the Dysynni Valley, where the Williams-Wynne family has been established for 600 years, a new micro hydro scheme has just been commissioned.  It produces free electricity for the estate and exports the remainder to the grid.

Amanda Forman, of Snowdonia Hydro based in Tywyn, project managed the entire scheme from start to finish.  This is a first for the area and demonstrates the viability of micro hydro generation.

The owner of Peniarth, Mr William Williams-Wynne, had been trying to get a hydro scheme developed for many years and said,

“It is only thanks to Amanda at Snowdonia Hydro that the project ever got off the ground and that it is so successful.”

Ms Forman set up Snowdonia Hydro two years ago, and it is going from strength to strength as the level of interest in micro hydro soars.  She is keen to work with local communities and for Snowdonia Hydro to be an approachable business for local people.  She says:

“Estates such as Peniarth need to move with the times and make their property pay.  Developing a hydro scheme is a good way for the estate to diversify”.

And it’s an all-Welsh project with the turbine having been manufactured in Swansea.  The system is a 10.8 kW system and uses a Hydrolite turgo turbine.  The site is what is known as a ‘high head’ site which enables the system to operate under pressure at high efficiency.  It is estimated to generate 37,000 kWh per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of nearly 10 households, and will offset 19 tonnes of CO2.”

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Micro Hydro Groundworks underway…

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This micro hydro system in West Wales will generate 10kWs during high flows to prove clean electricity for a Welsh Estate.
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Work has continued this week to complete the groundworks for the electrical cable to carry power to the Estate.  Running nearly a kilometre across agricultural land we’ve traversed BT cables, water mains and a minor road to bring this base amount of power to the Estate.

As well as providing free electricity, this micro hydro site in West Wales will also operate in Island mode, giving the owner a distinct benefit over other grid linked systems because it will switch over to off grid during power outages.  Is this the first grid connect / island hybrid micro hydro power system in wales?  We think it might be…

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Gwynedd Hydro at Welsh Estate

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The final landscaping is being done on this weir in a Gwynedd Estate ready for the turbine install within the next few weeks.
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Snowdonia Hydro will be holding an open day soon in honour of completing our first micro hydro project from design to completion.  With hydro projects popping up all over Gwynedd and North Wales we would like to invite you to come along and see a site we have installed.  Watch this space for a date!

If you are thinking about a hydro project, Snowdonia Hydro offers attractive rates and professional consultancy services for hydro projects across Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Powys.   Based in Bryncrug and Tywyn, we can offer a reliable service using local trades people, supporting all our rural businesses in Gwynedd.

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Licensing Complete for Micro Hydro Renovation

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This old hydro system is being retrofitted with a brand new turbine to provide 4 kWs of free electricity to an imposing Welsh building bordering the Afon Mawddach
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All the paperwork is complete for this renovation project in Snowdonia National Park.  The twin Pelton wheels are part of a former hydro site which produced electricity for a large stone house and cottages.  Hoping to see this build start over the summer with a lot of manual work as we are operating within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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Snowdonia and beyond…

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Hydro sites capable of generating over 100kWs will bring a significant financial return and give you energy security for the future.
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Snowdonia Hydro offers flexible financial options on hydro developments in Wales.
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I have met several times recently with the directors of Cheshire based company Beyond Hydro.  We have agreed to work together to bring financial backing to hydro sites and to ensure that land owners get an excellent opportunity to develop their site with the financial backing of external shareholders.

Beyond Hydro offer landowners land lease schemes and shares of the gross profits in order to develop a hydro site, they then carry all the financial burdens to obtain the very best annual returns.  You can choose to invest as little or as much as you like in a project and have all the financial aspects taken care of.

I am really pleased to be working with a company who want to promote the interests of rural landowners and believe that together, we can offer the very best contracts on hydro sites >100kW.

Snowdonia Hydro can advise you on the suitability of your site.

Call now to book a site visit.

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Biomass with Egnisco

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Biomass boilers can provide all your hot water and space heating demands at a price per kWh that beats any of the conventional methods.
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At 2.9p/kWh wood chip is currently the cheapest fuel source on the market.
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I recently spent the day at Egnisco head quarters near Welshpool, talking to Director Stephen Drummond about biomass projects in Wales.  With the Renewable Heat Incentive making it financially attractive for businesses to make the change to green power, wood chip has never been such a hot topic.  According to the Biomass Energy Centre (2013) wood chip , at 2.9p has the lowest price per kWh of any heating fuel.  So it’s only a matter of time before more rural businesses realise biomass could be the answer they have been looking for.

Sourcing fuel for a heating system can feel like a big commitment, in many places the reliability of a biomass system will be linked to the supply of good quality fuel.   Egnisco have created a solution to this by producing wood chip on site, which means they can offer a constant, local and reliable source of chip to their customers.

The company have already invested in solar electricity to contribute to the running of the business and are in the process of reinstating the old mill race into a state of the art, low head hydro system.  Obviously the heating and hot water is catered for by a wood chip biomass boiler, pictured above, making Egnisco a shining example of how all our businesses should be powered.

All of my clients have a diverse range of energy needs, so I have teamed up with Egnisco to offer detailed feasibility studies on wood fuel heating systems.   To find out more about biomass and whether it’s right for you, please contact Amanda Forman on 07513 950 525.

www.egnisco.com

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Biomass Heating For North Wales

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With thousands of acres of forestry land in North Wales, Biomass heating systems are the way forward to support local economic growth and a sustainable source of fuel.
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Wood fuel is a locally available source of energy with many benefits to supporting rural economies.  Net carbon emissions can be reduced compared to fossil fuels such as oil and gas and sustain local employment in remote areas.

Modern woodfuel combustion technologies are clean and efficient, the carbon produced by burning wood is offset against the carbon absorbed by the tree during its life.  Modern biomass systems can be designed to run on logs, wood chip, or pellets and designed to meet the needs of individual properties, or large commercial buildings.  Chip and pellet boilers are fully automated to replace conventional boilers with the minimum amount of effort.

With rising prices of fossil fuels, switching to woodfuel can reduce fuel bills and offer a reliable source of locally produced fuel, so your money goes back into the local area instead of to a large international company.

So long as forests are sustainably managed, woodfuel provides a renewable source of energy.  There are acres of sustainably managed woodlands in North Wales to contribute to a clean energy economy.

I have met with local biomass installers and suppliers of woodfuel recently to gain a better understanding of installation processes and requirements.  With the Renewable Heat Incentive offering commercial sites good financial rewards, wood fuel in Wales is off to a flying start.

If you would like more information on biomass energy systems, or a feasibility study to switch to biomass, contact Snowdonia Hydro for an objective point of view on renewable heating systems and supply of locally sourced wood fuel.

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Ceredigon off grid Hydro

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This fantastic Gilkes turgo turbine has been supplying this farm with off grid hydro electricity since around 1930 and it’s still going!
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The aim is to renovate this system by increasing the head to create a bit more electricity to better meet the demands of off grid living.
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Off Grid living can often be a daunting idea, but this family have always lived off the grid.  They have no bills to pay for electricity, gas or oil and probably know as much about hydro maintenance as a qualified engineer.

The idea with this system will be to double the amount of head available and increase the power output to cope with modern demands.  Items such as electric kettles, hair driers and power showers in the modern house use a huge amount of electricity.  In a grid connected house, the grid is used to cope with this sudden peak in electricity usage.  In an off grid house we need to calculate how much electricity is needed when the kettle, shower and lights are on at the same time?  The answer will be around the 10kW mark!  The peak load for an off grid house needs to match the generating and storage capacity of an off grid system.   This one will be linked up to a back up generator to avoid tripping the fuses.

The site work will require an entirely new pipeline to be laid across the fields, renovation works to the small impoundment and a new turbine house with modern generating equipment.   It also means a whole new process has to begin with getting the licensing and permissions in places from the new governing body “Natural Resource Wales” who now handle all hydro licenses in Wales.

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Peniarth Estate Hydro

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Set in the beautiful countryside of Snowdonia National Park this micro hydro system will generate clean energy with little impact on it’s environment.
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As we move steadily onwards Peniarth Hydro looks set to continue this summer with a new turbine from another manufacturer (details to be confirmed).  The installation work was delayed because of issues with the supply of the turbine and we are hoping for progress to continue again throughout Spring and Summer 2013 without too many more delays!

There are so many people to consult and work with on a hydro project, including bespoke hydro engineers,  electrical engineers, the District Network Operator (DNO), Planning Authority and Environment Agency it is not surprising most projects take a minimum of 2 years to complete.  However the benefits will far outweigh the hard work with a constant and reliable source of carbon zero electricity to offset those rising fuel bills.

This grand Estate house will be moving into the 21st century by embracing the world of renewable energy and securing it’s future for another 400 years.

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