The Venture

Background

Hydro Ogwen is a cooperative venture that was developed originally by Partneriaeth Ogwen (Ogwen Partnership) and then developed further by Ynni Ogwen Cyf (Ogwen Energy Ltd). Our aim is to capture the power from the flow of the Ogwen river to produce Electrical energy from Hydro technology. The profit gained from this venture will fund other environmental and community projects in the Ogwen Valley. Ynni Ogwen Cyf. are the owners and administrators of this project, a Community Benefit Society established to build and run this community Hydro scheme.

Our Aim

Our aim is to provide a sustainable income for the benefit of the community, powered by renewable energy from natural resources found in the Ogwen Valley. In the case of Hydro Ogwen, the renewable energy being harnessed would be energy captured from our main water source – the flow of the Ogwen river.

Hydro Ogwen are committed to act in an innovative and sustainable way for the benefit of the community.

Vision

The vision of the company is to support and develop a healthy, thriving and sustainable community in the Ogwen valley. Sustainability is one of the guiding principles of the company, environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability. The natural Environment in the Ogwen Valley offers itself as the perfect area for hydro projects, since the climate and topography allow for such Technologies to be effective. Our vision is to harness and own the energy generating potential of the Valley for the benefit of our communities. This benefit would be ‘environmental’, ‘economic’, ‘social’ and ‘cultural’ as the income of the project will be re-invested locally.

Aims

Our aim is to build and operate a hydro-electric generating plant which will:

  • maximise the renewable energy contribution from the site while safe-guarding the local ecology and environment in the vicinity of the project;
  • produce an expected annual generation of approximately 500 MWh, enough to supply about 100 households and to offset more than 245 tonnes of CO2 emissions;
  • earn significant income to support energy efficiency and infrastructure and social initiatives in Bethesda and the wider local community

Partneriaeth Ogwen

The Hydro Ogwen scheme was firstly developed by Partneriaeth Ogwen.

Partneriaeth Ogwen Cyf. Is a social venture under the ownership of three Community Councils; Bethesda, Llandygai and Llanllechid. The venture’s aim is to regenerate the area economically and communally and to serve the citizens of Dyffryn Ogwen. As a part of the Partnership’s regeneration plans, a working group was formed to research the feasibility of establishing a hydro project on Ogwen river close to Pont Ogwen (Ogwen Bridge), Bethesda. A number of feasibility studies and ecological impact studies (fish, geomorphology, bats, otters, trees and more) have been commissioned during the past 2 years in able to find the most appropriate site to establish a hydro scheme. The Partnership were successful in ensuring a number of grant applications to fund the developmental steps of this exciting project, and in July 2015, provisional planning was given to develop the project.

Despite being a young social venture, over the past two years Partneriaeth Ogwen have:

  • Secured over £200,000 worth of grant funding to buy and refurbish an old shop on the High Street as a Local Services Centre for the Ogwen community.
  • Established two new companies/societies : Ynni Ogwen Cyf and Siop Ogwen
  • Have employed 3 local members of staff and provided clerical services for 3 Community Councils.
  • Provided services to the community from the Local Services Centre including: Support for women, Energy wardens, Cynefin group, The Welsh Governments’ Nest/Nyth scheme, Food Bank, North Wales Credit Union, ‘Cymorth ar Bopeth’ and Legal Advice.
  • Provided Community support for a number of other local organisations, including Moelyci Farm and others.

During the last two years, Hydro Ogwen project has been overseen by a sub-committee including directors and Head Officer of Partneriaeth Ogwen Cyf. Ynni Ogwen Cyf was incorporated as a Community Benefit Society in September 2015. They will now be responsible for developing the scheme in the future.

Dolen (Saesneg?) i wefan Partneriaeth Ogwen www.ogwen.org.

Ynni Ogwen Energy Cyf.

Ynni Ogwen Cyf. has been established to complete the development of the Hydro Ogwen scheme and to operate and manage it once it is commissioned. The Society was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in September 2015 (registered number 7222). This legal structure, a Community Benefit Society or ‘Bencom’, is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and governed by specific Rules based on model rules developed by Cooperatives UK

The Rules of Ynni Ogwen Energy Cyf. ensure that all assets generated from the Hydro scheme will be used to:

  • Develop the work of Ynni Ogwen Cyf. or,
  • To fund activities that contribute towards the mutual benefit of the community

The aims of the Society also note that we implement any business for the benefit of the community through:

  • Support the regeneration work of Partneriaeth Ogwen (company registration no: 08430083) and community activities and charitable work in Bethesda and the surrounding areas,
  • Develop and deliver a renewable energy project or other projects with a community benefit.

Ynni Ogwen Cyf. Is an independent  Community Benefit and is not a sub-company of Partneriaeth Ogwen. However, the constitution of Ynni Ogwen Cyf notes that up to 3 members of the Ynni Ogwen Cyf Board are also members of Partneriaeth Ogwen Board.

Distribution of the hydro profits to the Communities

The disposable profits generated by the hydro will be gift-aided to a charity set up by Ynni Ogwen Cyf. to distribute them for the benefit of local communities.

The Trustees of this charity will appoint a committee representative of the communities designated to benefit from the project. This committee will consider applications for funding. The criteria for assessing future environmental and community projects for funding will be decided by the committee appointed and Trustees

 

The following is a brief video about our project: Ynni Ogwen Promo Video