Renews: Welsh hydro scratches surface

Snowdonia Pumped Hydro has completed geotechnical investigations for the 99.9MW Glyn Rhonwy pumped hydro electricity storage scheme in north Wales.

22nd December 2015

The company said analysis of 19 boreholes to depths up to 130 metres, along with samples of material taken from multiple surface excavations, confirm the geology at the site near Llanberis. 

The results clear the way for developer Snowdonia Pumped Hydro to begin discussions with potential contractors for the construction phase. 

The geotechnical investigation was carried out under a £700,000 contract by a 15-man team from the Bangor office of Quantum Geotechnical – part of Dawnus Construction – with support equipment provided by CT Roberts Plant and Caernarfon Commercials. 

An independent environmental clerk of works from Enfys Ecology, a subsidiary of North Wales Wildlife Trust, monitored the work. 

Snowdonia Pumped Hydro said hundreds of construction and support workers will be required during the build phase. 

The project will create up to 30 full time jobs once operational over its 125-year lifetime. 

The £160m scheme, which already has planning permission from local authority Gwynedd Council at an output of 49.9MW, would re-purpose two abandoned slate quarries.

 It is the first of a series of schemes that SPH parent company QBC intends to develop throughout the UK. 

SPH plans to double the output of the Glyn Rhonwy facility by increasing the capacity of the underground turbines and associated equipment. 

Snowdonia Pumped Hydro chairman Peter Taylor said: “The successful conclusion of the ground investigations at Glyn Rhonwy marks a further and very significant de-risking of the development. 

“We can now begin to talk confidently to potential construction partners about the build.”