This scheme was commissioned by the Forgotten Landscapes Partnership; a project celebrating heritage and industry in the landscape around the former colliery town of Blaenavon in South Wales.
Use is made of water channelled into a river diversion originally designed to prevent landscape erosion. The series of cascading concrete weirs controlling the flow are known locally as the ‘Dragon’s Teeth!’ The hydropower scheme diverts water from the top of the channel into a penstock pipe which is connected to a crossflow turbine at the foot of the hill 280 metres away.
The existing channel was adapted to form the intake sump and includes a ‘coanda’ type screen to filter out debris. The scheme is fully automated and designed to minimise maintenance. A data logging system in the powerhouse enables scheme operation can be monitored via the internet (see live output data).
The generator is connected to the national grid via a buried cable to Blaenavon World Heritage Centre 450 metres away. The electricity produced is used directly and reduces the running costs of the building. Income from the Feed in Tariff is used to support further initiatives in the local community.