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April 22, 2015

UK grants land lease to SPH for pumped hydro power project

State-owned landowner in the UK, The Crown Estate, has signed a land lease agreement with hydro project developer Snowdonia Pumped Hydro (SPH) for construction of Glyn Rhonwy facility near Llanberis.

By Shreosree Banerjee

State-owned landowner in the UK, The Crown Estate, has signed a land lease agreement with hydro project developer Snowdonia Pumped Hydro (SPH) for construction of Glyn Rhonwy facility near Llanberis.

The lease has allotted 13ha land for the £160m power project development, which is expected to be commissioned by 2019.

The facility will be built with pumped hydro technology. It likely to have a generation capacity of approximately 100MW.

The Crown Estate portfolio manager for Wales Malcolm Burns said: "As an active landowner, we’re always looking for opportunities to enhance the value of our holdings, whether that’s through facilitating renewable energy or enhancing the productivity of rural land.

"The lease has allotted 13ha land for the £160m power project development."

"We’re pleased to be enabling SPH’s plans for a pumped hydro scheme, that could deliver long-term benefits to the local community, but also contribute to a secure and sustainable energy supply for the nation as a whole."

The facility will involve pumping water to a reservoir on the upper slope of Cefn-Du during low electricity demand, where it will be stored. In times of peak energy demand, the stored water will be released back through turbines to a lower reservoir for re-generation of hydropower.

Quarry Battery, which is the parent organisation of SPH, chairman Peter Taylor said: "By continuing to utilise unconventional sites, such as the abandoned quarry on The Crown Estate’s land, Britain can realise an additional 15GW of grid-scale storage using pumped hydro technology alone. This agreement is an important first step in Britain meeting its storage needs."

The facility is expected to have a life-span of 125 years. It will supply 600MWh of renewable power to balance supply and demand on the UK’s electricity grid.

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