Natural Resources Wales has turned down an application by RWE Innogy to build a new hydropower scheme in the Conwy Valley in Wales.

The organisation has refused an environmental permit for the scheme, stating that following an in-depth assessment of the proposals, it found that the project could harm the environment in the area.

RWE Innogy UK had applied for the permit to abstract water from the River Conwy to supply the hydropower scheme near Betws y Coed. NRW’s analysis found that the company wanted to abstract too much water at times from the Conwy, there was not enough evidence about the movement of sediment and its impact, and that it could damage the ecology of the area, it said in a statement.

“The Conwy is an important natural asset for the area and we’ve conducted a detailed assessment of the proposals before reaching this decision,” explained Sian Williams, Head of Operations North for Natural Resources Wales. “We support sustainable developments in the right places.

“But the evidence we’ve scrutinised shows that the proposal submitted could harm the local environment. As such, we can’t grant it a permit.”