The 350 KW Nant Peris hydro scheme on the Afon Gafr, is now fully operational and was commissioned before Christmas by one of the contractors working for Renewables First.
The entire build time for the Nant Peris hydro scheme took roughly 6 months, with some elements of construction being strongly influenced by the weather, particularly the trenching required for the 909 metre long penstock, which was hampered somewhat by heavy rain during the summer months, then later in the final few months.
Now commissioned, the 350 KW Pelton turbine can now make good use of the copious amounts of rainfall and begin its long-term job of supplying electricity into the local grid network.
From the surrounding area, the Nant Peris hydro scheme is largely invisible to the eye. Barring recent earthworks due to the trenching and burial of the penstock pipe, the visual impact of the scheme is minimal. However, once the springtime growth takes over, the visual impact of the scheme will vanish.
We are very pleased with the way in which the project came together, including the feasibility and design work stages, but also the project management of the installation. The latter being due to the choice of contractors involved with the installation process.
The main contractor responsible for the civil engineering aspects of the project was G H Jones. They took responsibility for the intake, laying the penstock, as well as the turbine house and electrical substation structures. Morben Hydro were responsible for key elements of the mechanical installation work, as well as the supply and installation of the electrical control and protection components. Morben Hydro also commissioned the system on completion. D A Hughes were also responsible for some elements of the mechanical installation, as well as electrical works, such as cabling.
The picture below shows the Afon Gafr in full winter spate. The intake for the hydro scheme is located at the top of the creek and is just out of view. The penstock snakes across the hillside to the right, as it begins its 909 metre long journey down to the turbine house, over a vertical drop of 212 metres. The 350 KW Pelton turbine and generator converts the energy in the moving water (202 litres/second) to electricity. It is estimated that the scheme will generate around 1,100,000 kWh per year, equivalent to powering roughly 333 UK homes (based on a median UK consumption of 3300 kWh, EST 2012), as well as a carbon saving of around 473 tonnes per year.
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