What is the lifespan of the hydro scheme?

We have agreed an initial 45-year lease on the land and the turbine and concrete footings are expected to last well beyond this lease. There are many hydro systems in Snowdonia which have been operating for over 80 years.

How much will the hydro cost to build?

Derwent hydro have estimated the total costs to deliver a fully operational scheme at approximately £520,000.

How much will the hydro generate in income?

Our financial projections indicate that the Hydro will generate a revenue of approximately £68,000 a year for the first 20 years. This will be made up from the sale of electricity and the Government subsidy on renewable energy generation, the Feed-in-Tariff. After the first 20 years, the income will be generated from the sale of electricity only unless there are further government subsidies.

What is the Feed-in-Tariff?

The government offer funding administrated by the energy regulator Ofgem to encourage the development of renewable energy generation. This subsidy by the government is the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT). The Hydro Ogwen project should qualify for a level of FiT worth £0.0854 per KWh.

What will be the hydro’s operating costs once it is up and running?

Operating costs will include:

  • weekly checking and maintenance;
  • annual maintenance checks;
  • rent;
  • business rates;
  • insurance;
  • administration;
  • contingency;
  • technical services.

How will the profits generated by Ynni Ogwen be spent?

All disposable profits created by the hydro will be gift-aided to a new community charity set up by Ynni Ogwen to be used for the benefit of local communities.

Once the hydro is fully operational, how will revenue be spent by Ynni Ogwen?

The intention of the Directors of Ynni Ogwen is for all revenue from the generation, sale and export of electricity to be used to cover operating costs each year in the following way:

  • legal requirements, e.g. Financial Conduct Authority fees;
  • necessary administrative services and insurance;
  • any maintenance, repair etc. for the generating equipment;
  • a contingency fund to cover unexpected events and spare parts for the equipment;
  • payment of the interest and capital on any loans;
  • payments to a new community charity for the benefit of local communities;
  • payment of interest to our investors.

What stage is the project currently at?

The Hydro Ogwen scheme currently has:

  • planning permission;
  • abstraction and impoundment licences controlling how it uses the water to generate energy from Natural Resources Wales;
  • an option to lease from Welsh Slate;
  • a lease from Penrhyn Estate;
  • an architectural and a landscape design that meet the conditions set by the Planning Consent granted by the Gwynedd Council Planning Department;
  • a full cost estimate report and financial projections for the project;
  • a cessation agreement with Scottish Power for a 100kW capacity grid connection;
  • Ofgem Feed-in-Tariff Preliminary Accreditation application has been submitted

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The Share Issue

Has a ‘community share offer’ been tried before?

Yes. This sort of community share offer is now becoming an established way of raising finance for renewable energy projects that go on to generate a benefit for the community. These include:

  • Ynni Anafon, Abergwyngregyn
  • Garmony Hydro, Isle of Mull in Scotland
  • Llangattock Green Valleys Hydro in South Wales
  • Harlaw Hydro near Edinburgh
  • Whitby Esk Hydro in Yorkshire
  • Osney Lock Hydro in Oxford
  • Torrs Mill Hydro in Derbyshire

What happens to my shares in the event of my death?

If a Member dies, the repaid value of the shares will normally be added to the estate for probate purposes. You have the option to nominate a recipient for the value of the shares in the event of your death. If you have claimed EIS tax relief, you will be able to avoid Inheritance Tax on the shares if you include them in your will.

Can I hold shares on behalf of children?

Members must be at least 16 years of age. An investor has the option of holding shares on behalf of someone who is under 16 but these shares are held in trust until the child is 16 (the investor is “the trustee”). Therefore the shares are the personal property of the trustee until the child reaches 16 years old.

If the trustee were to be a Member in his/her own right, this would imply that he/she would be a Member twice over, potentially entitled to two votes. As this is not permitted, a trustee owning shares on behalf of a child cannot be a Member in their own right.