Rebirth of Historic North Wales Power Station.
An historic hydro-electric power station in Snowdonia has been brought back to life after nearly 50 years by National Power and is now feeding `green' electricity into the grid system.
Croesor power station at Blaencwm, Gwynedd was constructed almost 100 years ago by pioneering engineer Moses Kellow to supply power to local slate quarries. It has been rebuilt at a cost of over (pound)1million and officially reopened today by local M.P Elfyn Llwyd.
The redevelopment of the station at the head of the Croesor Valley has been undertaken by National Power Hydro, who also operate Dolgarrog, Cwm Dyli, Dulyn and Cynwyd hydro electric sites in North Wales.
Croesor power station has a contract under the Government's NFFO (Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation) scheme which was established to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The station is able to generate 500kW of electricity, sufficient to provide the power needs of some 200 homes.
National Power Hydro has worked closely with The Portmerion Foundation, the trustees of the Brondanw Estate on whose land the station is located. Because the site is within the Snowdonia National Park, there has also been close co-operation with the National Park Authority and the Environment Agency.
Croesor power station had a varied and interesting history following its construction. It served the needs of the slate quarries until their closure in 1933 and was then retained to feed electricity into the grid system. Various schemes were considered to enlarge the facility but it fell into disrepair in the 1950's. The power house was converted into an outdoor centre, much of the pipework removed and the dam deliberately breached.
National Power Hydro and its main contractor DULAS have ensured the redevelopment of the station has been carried out in a manner sympathetic to the needs of one of the UK's most attractive national parks.
Because of the difficult access and to avoid ground damage, helicopters were used to transport building materials and pipeline sections. In addition a special "walking" digger attached to the mountain by wire ropes was used to excavate the underground pipeline trench. The replacement power cables have also been installed underground, a task carried out by Manweb. Due to the historic nature of the site the original features of the station have been reused where possible. The original dam and power house sited at Blaencwm have been refurbished using local materials in keeping with the local environment.
At the opening ceremony Elfyn Llwyd M.P. said: " My congratulations go to National Power Hydro and the many other organisations involved in the Croesor power station project. The sympathetic restoration of one of Snowdonia's industrial heritage sites as an environmentally - friendly energy source is a credit to all concerned."
Alex Tindall, Manager of National Power Hydro commented:" We are proud of our role in bringing this historic power station back to effective and efficient use. The redevelopment of an existing renewable power source is yet another example of sustainable energy development in North Wales undertaken by our company. It is good news for the local area and for the wider environment."