Renewable energy advisor Dulas has completed the installation of a 70kW hydro power project at a Welsh Water treatment works near the city of Bangor.
The firm already operates and maintains a 12MW portfolio of hydro power projects across 16 sites on behalf of the utility.
The latest addition was commissioned to improve the efficiency of the Mynydd Llandygai treatment works and help the facility to meet the growing needs of the network it feeds in North West Wales.
The project generates power using a type of water wheel known as a Pelton turbine. It features two sets of paddles – or runners – of differing sizes, powered by two separate water supplies from two separate reservoirs.
Engineers had to carefully adjust the flow from each source to ensure that both runners rotate at the same rate. Work on the project commenced in spring 2016.
“As a supplier to Welsh Water, the expertise our team has built up across the country was critical to the successful completion of the retrofit work at Mynydd Llandygai,” said Dulas senior project manager Crispin Angood.
The Welsh government is aiming to increase hydro power capacity in Wales to 22.5GW by 2025, but faces an uphill struggle following cuts to feed-in tariff rates for many hydro power projects last year depending on their size.
“Recent changes to the feed-in tariff subsidy payment have caused installations to slow,” added Angood, “but this means that updating Wales’ existing hydro assets has become all the more important, especially with an eye to longer-term renewable energy targets.”