Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rain Power

Rain, rain, rain.....
So, this summer hasn't exactly been scorching! There have been the occasional rays of sunshine flooding through the Vale of Ffestiniog and just about reaching the Oakeley Arms Hotel, but we've mostly been wearing our wellies!
The weather may not be so great for us, but there's a little place just down the road here in Maentwrog that is loving all this rain!
Building began at Maentwrog Hydro Electric Power Station in 1925, and it was operational three years later in 1928. At that time the power generated from the station was more than enough for all of the homes in North Wales, but as power demands grew the hydro electric power from Maentwrog supplied a smaller and smaller percentage of the area's electricity.
Today, the station supplies enough power for about 12,000 local homes every year. But, thanks to the increased rainfall in May and June, the summer's output has been increased by a whopping 150%!
The station makes electricity by using the natural force of water collected from rainfall which then gathers in a series of lakes, streams and cuts, that all eventually floods into the lake at Trawsfynydd.
The increased output from the Hydro Electric Power Station is great news for the local area - it is one of the greenest and most sustainable forms of feeding our ever growing energy appetite. Much of the area around the power station is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of it's concentration of rare plants and wildlife. So any small steps we can take to preserve and protect these special habitats are welcome ones!
Image by Barry Hunter on wikicommons

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