The digging and building starts on Ogwen’s hydro scheme.
On a wet and blustery July day a small group of youngsters from all the Dyffryn Ogwen schools braved the elements and gathered on the banks of Afon Ogwen to proudly witness an exciting moment: Ynni Ogwen taking the first step towards a greener future by cutting the turf for the construction of a hydroelectric scheme on the river.
At the special occasion, the contractor Gwyn Roberts Construction a’i Fab from Llanuwchllyn, was at hand to explain how he is going to go about digging and building the various parts of the scheme under the watchful eye of local Project Manager Gruffydd Wyn of Bethesda.
Local AM Siân Gwenllian, who has been a strong supporter of the scheme from the begining was pleased to also be present:
“Afon Ogwen in full flow, as it is today, shows us how powerful this river can be. It is so good to see the community of Bethesda taking its future into its own hands by building this hydroelectric scheme so that local residents can benefit directly from all the rain that falls here” she said.
The lynchpin of the scheme has been Meleri Davies of Ynni Ogwen who finds it difficult to believe that the construction stage is actually begining:
“ After all the planning, applying for grants and negotiating the community of Dyffryn Ogwen rewarded us by buying all the shares in the scheme thereby giving us the capital required to build our community hydro. We are so pleased that Ynni Ogwen is a wholly owned community initiative operating for the benefit of our community and we look forward to setting up a new charity to distribute the profits in due course.”
In a sense the hard part of the journey has been travelled but the physical work begins now and with fair weather electricity will be being generated by Afon Ogwen in the new year.
As a community owned company Ynni Ogwen held its first AGM on Wednesday 13 July and listened to an inspirational presentation by Dr Hywel Griffiths, Geography lecturer at Aberystwyth University specialising in rivers who is also a chaired poet. Although Wales has had a troubled relationship with water in the past, community owned hydroelectric schemes such as the one on Afon Ogwen offer a more positive outlook for a sustainable future according to Dr Griffiths.
The future looks green for Dyffryn Ogwen!
Further enquiries: Meleri Davies 01248 602131 or Siân Shakespear 07890613933
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