Developer pulls plans for 5-MW Conwy Falls hydropower plant

Plans for the controversial 5-MW Conwy Falls hydroelectric plant in Wales have been withdrawn by developer RWE Innogy Ltd. following months of opposition from environmental groups.

The plant would have been built across the Conwy Falls and Fairy Glen in Snowdonia National Park, resulting in fierce opposition from a number of organizations who feared the project would damage the area’s natural beauty.

Their efforts were in large part responsible for the U.K.’s Snowdonia National Park Authority rejecting a proposal from RWE Innogy to build the plant in March, prompting the developer to resubmit its planning application for the run-of-river plant in August.

At that time, RWE Innogy said the Snowdonia National Park Authority would determine the acceptability of the scheme in consultation with Natural Resources Wales. Natural Resources Wales oversees the functions of the Countryside Council, Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency, as well as certain Welsh government functions.

It appears, however, that the developer’s decision to stop pursuing the project was made after it became clear no compromise would be reached.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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