Ynni Padarn Peris is a sustainable renewable energy scheme which uses hydro power to create electricity. The energy is used by the local community, with any surplus sold into the National Grid.
You’ll find it on the River Goch in Llanberis – right in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park here in North Wales.
The 55kW scheme was born out of the local community’s desire to use its natural local resources (OK, the plentiful rain) to generate an income which would go back to local people.
The driving ambition was that it should create economic and social benefits that would stay in the local community. An entirely appropriate trickle-down, you might say.
Ynni Padarn Peris was funded by local shareholders – the ordinary folk and families of Llanberis – who bought into the scheme at a minimum investment of £250. After 3 years in the making, the hydro scheme finally started producing energy in March 2017.
How did Baileys and Partners’ expertise help to deliver the scheme?
The hydro scheme itself is owned and operated by the local community, but it is sited on privately owned land.
Its successful delivery was dependent on getting consent from three local landowners, one of which owns a leisure business – and both developing and negotiating terms that were agreeable to all parties.
Acting on behalf of Ynni Padarn Peris, Baileys and Partners’ task was to manage and facilitate all aspects of the negotiations between the community group and the landowners – having regard for such things as what the licensing and planning allows and then translating this into a document which sets out the rent, share offers, the term and indemnities to ultimately deliver a successful construction ready project for the community.
It was, of course, essential to agree terms that were equally acceptable all parties but which would allow the scheme to become a viable business.
The lease needed to be long enough to pay for the initial investment, for example, but not ‘forever’. Infrastructure to support the scheme had to be sited nearby and accessible, but not to the detriment of the established leisure business or in the way of the farmer.
Informal mediation and enough experience to understand concerns from all sides were key to this project’s successful delivery. All of the parties involved were going to be neighbours for a very long time, so it was crucial that everyone felt like they were getting a fair deal.
Baileys and Partners successfully negotiated a lease of 40 years for Ynni Padarn Peris. This will allow the community shareholders time to recoup their initial investment and generate a profit in the years to come. The landowners not only consented to the scheme, but were offered and agreed to buy shares in it.
The success of this scheme has created further community hydro instructions for Baileys and Partners, and the emergence of such schemes are helping to define policies that the Welsh Government endorses in their vision for energy in Wales.