North West Wales

Llanberis hydro power plant given go-ahead

Glyn Rhonwy quarry
Image caption Glyn Rhonwy quarry

Work could start next year on a multimillion pound hydro power plant in Llanberis, Gwynedd, its developers have said.

The Snowdonia Pumped Hydro (SPH) project received consent from the UK Planning Inspectorate on Wednesday.

Abandoned slate quarries, Glyn Rhonwy and Chwarel Fawr, will be turned into reservoirs to generate electricity via a turbine.

Arfon MP Hywel Williams said it was a "welcome investment in Llanberis".

"I hope measures will be put in place to mitigate any disruption during the construction phase of this scheme," he said.

Wales Office Minister Guto Bebb said the development would help put Wales on the "renewable map".

Environmental charity the Snowdonia Society has been critical of the plan since 2012.

SPH managing director Dave Holmes said the decision by Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was "highly significant".

The company needs financial backers for its project, generating and then pumping electricity into the National Grid via underground cables.

It could cost £160m to develop, design and build the development, it said.

In January, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) granted permission to empty standing rainwater from the quarries into Nant y Betws and Llyn Padarn, prompting more concerns.

Gwynedd councillors gave their backing to the plans in 2013.

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