Carved into the historic landscape near to Dinas Emrys in North West Wales, an exciting new hydro turbine at Hafod y Porth in Snowdonia has started generating power. This scheme signals the successful completion of the third project in the £3.5m pilot phase of the National Trust’s Renewable Energy Investment (REI) Programme, which we launched together last year.
The turbine is the Trust’s first to be manufactured off-site and funds raised from the project will go straight back into conservation work in Snowdonia, including footpath restorations and rhododendron control.
With a capacity of just under 100kW, the hydro turbine is one of the smaller schemes in the National Trust’s upcoming renewable pipeline.
However, despite its size, the benefits surrounding using hydro power are undeniable. Not only can hydro systems continue to generate electricity 24/7, the electricity produced is also cleaner and greener and doesn't release any CO2 or other pollutants into the atmosphere.
Hydro systems like this one work by transforming falling water from rivers and streams into electricity by using the water to drive generators inside a turbine. So when there is lots of water falling from a greater height, more renewable electricity can then be generated.
Another step towards a 100% renewable future
It’s been 18 months since first announcing our partnership and it’s fantastic to now see that over half of the REI pilot projects are either exporting cleaner, greener electricity to the grid or helping transform the energy use at some of our oldest buildings and special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The other completed projects are a 199kW biomass boiler at Croft Castle in Herefordshire and a 300kW marine source heat pump - the largest in Britain - on Anglesey. Located at Plas Newydd on the shores of the Menai Strait, the heat pump has already gone on to win a number of awards including Outstanding Renewable Energy Project of the Year at the 2014 RenewableUK Cymru Awards and Commercial Project of the Year at the 2014 Energy Efficiency & Renewables Awards – a great achievement!
With the remaining two projects in the REI programme set to launch in early 2015, along with lots of other exciting opportunities, we’re really looking forward to taking the next step in our renewable journey with the National Trust and telling you more about them along the way. Watch this space!
About the National Trust’s energy work
The final two projects in the National Trust’s REI programme are:
- 100kW hydro turbine at Sticklebarn Tavern in Great Langdale
- 199kW biomass boiler at Ickworth in Suffolk
If the pilot programme is successful, the National Trust plans to invest in 43 similar renewables schemes across the country at some of its other properties, which you can find more information about here.