Corwen hydro scheme points the way forward

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has praised local volunteers who have pushed through a hydro-electric scheme above Corwen.

He made his comments during a visit to the Corwen Electricity Cooperative site just off the town’s main street, where a 55kW hydro scheme has been developed to harness energy created by a local stream. The cooperative hopes to start producing electricity before Christmas.

The project was made possible by raising the £324,350 required to build the scheme by selling shares. The coop has 94 shareholders and roughly 58% of the shares were raised locally. The project has been supported by local enterprise agency Cadwyn Clwyd, whose energy development directors Silas Jones provided the expertise to get the scheme off the ground.

Llyr Gruffydd said: “Renewable energy under community control is an important way forward as far as I’m concerned. Small-scale developments like this one in Corwen are sprouting up across the North and I want to see more community ownership and involvement in the energy we use and produce.

“The potential for hundreds of small-scale hydro schemes in rural areas of Wales shouldn’t be underestimated – Wales is currently a net exporter of electricity and we can lead the way in terms of renewable energy, something that would be of benefit to the local community in terms of cleaner energy and lower bills in the long run.

“This has been a hard slog for a small group of volunteers, who have overcome some significant hurdles to achieve their goal. It’s great to see their work come to fruition and I wish them all the best for the future.”

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