April has seen the start of two new builds for Snowdonia Hydro, one has already begun with the opportunity of the good weather at the start of the month too good to miss (not to be taken for granted in North Wales). The build is moving quickly and smoothly so far and the site itself is already being set back to its original state with the pipeline being buried as the contractors move along and we’re very excited to see the outcome in a few months time!
The next project is waiting for the final few stages to be completed before it can also go ahead, this is a beautiful but also difficult site with a section of extremely steep Oak woodland so extreme care will be taken to avoid the trees, making this project a much more hands-on build for us to ensure the work is carried out to our exacting standards.
The months of September and October saw some busy weeks for us at Snowdonia Hydro. With preliminary accreditation coming to an end on the 30th of September and the consultation on the proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff closing on the 23rd October it was full steam ahead to try and complete applications for accreditation and craft a response to join in the fight against these government changes.
The process of preliminary accreditation was originally put into place to give early notice of and protect against degression, giving a guaranteed price to investors in hydro projects. Without this system the payback time for building a site becomes less certain, however luckily for us most of our projects are on such excellent sites that they are still going ahead even with these cuts in place.
We are also staying optimistic that accreditation will be reinstated in January 2016 when the results of the Feed-in Tariff consultation will be published.
Though busy we have also found the time to head out on visits to a number of our sites here in Wales, giving the opportunity to test off-road driving skills amongst stunning scenery and the chance to look at sites both old and new, developing ideas and plans for the next stages of construction over the winter months.
Moving forward we are also happy to announce that Snowdonia Hydro are now members of the British Hydro Association and look forward to the opportunities ahead of us with this membership.