The weir at Hafod y Llan farm. Copyright The National Trust

A new hydro scheme began operating in Snowdonia, Wales, this week, helping to fund conservation work for The National Trust.

The scheme – which is expected to generate 1900MWh a year – has been sensitively crafted into the rugged Snowdonia landscape at Hafod y Llan farm, the conservation organization said.

The power produced is to be sold through the organisation’s new renewable energy trading company to its energy partner Good Energy. The project is expected to generate enough electricity to power around 445 homes.

Keith Jones, The National Trust’s environmental advisor for Wales, said that working on the Snowdon hydro project has brought many challenges, but it is just the beginning of an exciting journey for the Trust.

"It’s taken 300 tonnes or a mile of pipe, six tonnes of turbine and generator kit and more than 100 people to make this project happen. Add in the southern face of Snowdon, snow, heavy rain, rock and 60,000 walkers passing the site per year and you can see why this has been a bit of a challenge," he said. "The end result? We’ve got a hidden hydro capturing half a tonne of water per second and generating a couple of million kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year – I’m quietly pleased!"

The National Trust are now looking for more opportunities to install renewable technology where it is appropriate and in the right location and scale for the landscape. It has already developed more than 250 small and medium-scale renewable energy schemes across England and Wales, including biomass, solar and hydro technology.

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Image: The weir at Hafod y Llan farm. Copyright The National Trust