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Renewable energy at Craflwyn and Beddgelert

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and other mountain peaks with Hafod y Llan estate in the distance at Eryri (Snowdonia) Wales.
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and other mountain peaks in Eryri (Snowdonia) Wales | © National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

The farms of Craflwyn and Beddgelert have played a vital role in the National Trust’s wider vision of generating 50% of its energy from renewable sources, with hydroelectrical projects transforming the way power is generated in the region.

Bringing hydroelectricity to Hafod y Llan

A large hydroelectric turbine, sensitively crafted into the Eryri (Snowdonia) landscape at Hafod y Llan farm, with the power produced being sold through our new renewable energy trading company to an energy partner and green electricity supplier.

The project generates around 1,900 MWhr of electricity per year, which is enough to power around 445 homes.

Delivering an ambitious plan

The Eryri (Snowdon) hydro project took 300 tonnes, or a mile, of pipe, six tonnes of turbine and generator kit and more than 100 people to make the project happen. With the added difficulties on the southern face of Snowdon of snow, rain and 600 walkers passing the site per year, it is easy to see how this work was a challenge.

The end result is a hidden hydro capturing half a tonne of water per second, while positively adding to the Trust’s vision for renewables, which has already included 250 small and medium sized renewable energy schemes across England and Wales, including biomass, solar and hydro technology.

These renewable energy plans, alongside other energy conservation work, aim to save an estimated £4 million from the National Trust’s energy bill each year, which can be investing in conservation work across the places we look after.

Gathering the Welsh Mountain sheep along the Afon Cwm Llan on Hafod Y Llan farm, Snowdonia, Wales
Water at Hafod y Llan is generating a renewable energy future | © National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Making Llyndy Isaf a sustainable farm

Renewable energy was also introduced at neighbouring Llyndy Isaf farm, with the addition of a hydroelectric turbine and a considerable amount of work done on the farmhouse to improve energy efficiency.

The hydro now supplies the farm, the farmhouse and the scholar flat with electricity, which is also used by the two new heat pumps also installed. The project generates approximately 37,000 kWh of electricity per annum – more than the house, flat and farm uses.

Like the first (Eryri) Snowdon hydro, this project results in reduced electricity bills, while generating income from the sale of electricity to other suppliers which can be reinvested in the farm and the surrounding landscape. This renewable generation will also save approximately 18 tonnes of Co2 per year.

Visitors sat in woodland by the Glaslyn river, Craflwyn and Beddgelert, Wales


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