640 kw Hydro Electric Project, Snowdon, North Wales

Project: 640 kw Hydro Electric Project, Snowdon, North Wales
Client: National Trust
Project Value: Approx. £1.5Million
Duration: 9 months

Project Goal:
To generate a sustainable source of electricity to power all of the National Trust properties in Wales – including castles, mansions, gardens, 45 holiday cottages and 200 farms – by carrying the overflow of water from Afon Cwm Llan on the slopes of Snowdon.

Works included:

  • Pecking a safe pipe route
  • Diverting a river
  • Fusion welding almost 1km of 560mm diameter polyethylene pipes
  • Installing nearly 0.5km of ductile iron, a reinforced concrete intake chamber and a larch cladded powerhouse, and transformer building, all of which blends seamlessly back into the Snowdonia National Park landscape.

Project challenges:

  • Rock pecking in very hard granite material with compact machines
  • Diverting a fast flowing river susceptible to storm surges to construct intake
  • Narrow working environment around wet flush areas within the Snowdonia National Park
  • Steep slopes of the mountain and extreme weather conditions posed a difficult working environment, especially for welding, construction of the reinforced concrete structure, and batching concrete
  • Delivery of materials and 12m pipes using helicopter
  • Concealing the pipe underground in rock and reinstatement
  • Required close working relationship with an archaeologist
  • Stringent CCW requirements with minimal working areas and footprints
  • Working alongside the public on a popular Watkin footpath

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