December update

corwen_turbine_houseWe are well on schedule with construction at Corwen, the pipework is complete and the turbine and generator are all in place. There are plenty of photos and videos on the Corwen Electricity facebook page at

Progress report – October

Great progress has been made over the last two weeks.  The pipe has now crossed the forestry track and is connected and buried from the forebay tank at the reservoir down to within 15 meters of the turbine house.  David Roberts has begun in earnest on the turbine house it is beginning to take shape.  We expect to begin block work for the turbine house in the next 10 days.  This is where the focus will be for the coming weeks.

CT Roberts and HGC have now left site and will return at the end of November or earlier December to connect the last 15 meters of pipe to the turbine house.

Contractors arrive on site!


Cutting the Sod

WE are pleased to say that work is now progessing well on site. Most of the pipe route has been cleared of tree stumps and the trench for the pipe is being dug. The trench work is encountering significant volumes of rock but this is proving to be relatively easy to remove.

diggerclearedIn the meantime, the penstock pipe has been delivered and the team are working on butt welding together 48m continuous lengths of pipe in preparation for towing these into place along the trench.

pipes arrive

Trial excavations have also been made on the site of the turbine house to allow us to refine the final design of the foundations to be used for this structure.

Corwen Electricity Cooperative shortlisted for M&S Community Energy Fund

We are really pleased to say that our project has been shortlisted in a national award for community energy! M&S Energy will be awarding two national awards of £40,000 and £20,000, regional funding awards for projects across Great Britain that require a maximum of £12,500 and a Judges’ prize of £15,000 for the most innovative or inspiring project. Following the initial shortlisting phase, the competition is now open to the public vote.   We have been shortlised in the Regional Category for North Wales, Cheshire, and Merseyside and could win £12,500.

We now need your help – urgently – so we can win this award.  Please get as many of your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours primed to vote for the project.   It will be up against projects in some big cities, such as Liverpool, so every single vote counts.

We will be sharing the link and some pictures you can use on Facebook and Twitter here early next week.

Guided walk along the hydro route

On Saturday we have organised a guided walk along the route of the hydro, so that you can have a look at where the intake will be built, where the pipeline will be laid, and where the turbine house will be located. If you are interested, meet at the Owain Glyndwr Hotel at 11am on Saturday 9th May, and the Directors will lead a walk up to the reservoir.

Wear heavy shoes and the route will be quite steep. There will be a few cars that can take a small number of people up to the reservoir by road.

The walk should take no more than a couple of hours. No need to book, just turn up, but if you have any questions phone 01743 277119 or email

EA licences granted

All the NRW licences for the scheme at Corwen have now been obtained.

We obtained planning permission in September, however, since then, the location where the turbine house at the bottom was to go has become unavailable and we have had to alter the location of the turbine house. This does not significantly affect the yield or cost of the scheme, but does mean that the planning permission needs to be re-submitted so that it accurately reflects how the scheme will be built.

From our discussion with the planning officers, there is little question that this amendment will be accepted by the planners. The only consequence is that it has meant that we do not have planning permission of the actual final design by the 31st December. This was the date that we needed to submit an application to OFGEM  (“preliminary accreditation”) in order to lock into the current feed in tariff.

We have submitted an application to OFGEM with the existing planning permission. OFGEM state in their guidance that preliminary accreditation would be invalid if the “site” is different between the final application and the planning application submitted with the preliminary accreditation. OFGEM do not give examples of what constitutes “different” and leave this to individual site by site assessment.

We therefore do not know at present whether our submission for preliminary accreditation will remain valid. We have flagged this change of planning permission up with OFGEM and await their decision. If they do decide that the scheme is “different” this would mean that we would have to accept the post 31 March 2015 FIT tariff. Our calculations indicate that the scheme is still viable under the reduced tariff but the amount of community fund would have to be smaller.

The final component before we can build is to complete all the leases. We have funding from Ynni’r Fro to pay or all legal costs, and are already in detailed discussions with all landowners and we hope to get these signed, and confirmation from OFGEM on the FIT tariff, by the end of January. We will then aim to run a share offer for the construction costs during February and March.

Planning permission granted

We are delighted to announce that the scheme has just had its application for planning permission approved (September 2014). This is a major step forward in progress. Work on obtaining the abstraction licence and all landowner permits is still ongoing.

AM Aled Roberts visits the site

Corwen Hydro Power 007Lib Dem Regional AM Aled Roberts visited the scheme recently to give his support. “As energy becomes more expensive we must use all the natural resources such as solar and water to develop local power generation. The Corwen scheme is a good example of what could be done throughout North Wales with the sort of local involvement and professional advice that is in evidence here. I urge more local people to get involved by backing the pioneer share offer so that the co-operative can get all the permissions they need this year so that construction can start in 2015 with the aim of completing the building phase in 2016.”