Two communities in Snowdonia with strong connections with the slate quarrying industry have now taken ownership of some of their natural resources in order to ‘turn the water to their own mill’!
On 24 June the communities of Dyffryn Ogwen and Padarn/Peris will be celebrating that they are now generating electricity for themselves by way of the plentiful rain which falls in these parts.
The two communities have co-operated closely whilst treading over the same ground during the last few months – rough ground at times, which has meant a lot of hard work and endless patience but the big day has arrived: the official launches of the Ogwen community hydro-electric scheme on Afon Ogwen and Padarn/Peris community hydro-electric scheme on Afon Goch. Since they have shared the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ over the same period they are now jointly launching the hydro schemes at 11.30 am Saturday 24 June. Historically there may have been a deal of competition between the Vaynol and Penrhyn estates but the communities themselves have always co-operated and this is a fabulous example of that at work.
“I am truly excited that we are at long last launching the Ogwen hydro” said Meleri Davies, Chair of Ynni Ogwen. “It will be great to welcome Hywel Williams MP to our midst to celebrate this important and exciting occasion. The people of Dyffryn Ogwen and the many partners have been such a support during this journey and it will be fantastic to launch the hydro in their company.”
“We are looking forward to standing on the banks of Afon Goch and seeing Sian Gwenllïan AM Arfon pushing the button on Ynni Padarn/Peris’ first hydro scheme” Alun Hughes, Chair of Ynni Padarn/Peris said. “The little people performing wonders for themselves, that’s what the hydro scheme on Afon Goch represents. As with Ynni Ogwen’s hydro, most of our shareholders are local and they will be the ones to receive the profits from generating electricity in addition to good local causes.”
“It will be an honour to be part of the celebrations in both these communities.” said Hywel Williams MP and Siân Gwenllïan AM Arfon. “Both of us have supported these community hydro schemes and we greatly admire the enthusiasm and perseverance of these communities. It is evident that the Project Managers and Contractors have played their part excellently in building successful hydro schemes which impact as little as possible on the rivers and the environment around them.”
This event is happening at the start of National Community Energy Fortnight. There are no better examples of this at work than the Ogwen and Padarn/Peris hydros as the many and various awards and commendations testify such as Ynni Ogwen winning in the ‘Engaging the Community’ category in the Welsh Green Energy Awards and receiving a high commendation in the ‘Sustainable Community’ category in the Sustain Wales Awards 2016.