Hydro permit application refused

We have refused an application for an environmental permit to build and operate a new hydropower scheme in the Conwy Valley.

RWE Innogy UK had applied for a permit to abstract water from the River Conwy to supply a new hydropower scheme near Betws y Coed.

But our in-depth assessment of the proposals found that they could harm the environment in the area. 

NRW’s analysis found that the company wanted to abstract too much water at times from the Conwy, there was not enough evidence about the movement of sediment and its impact, and that it could damage the ecology of the area.

Sian Williams, Head of Operations North for Natural Resources Wales, said: “The Conwy is an important natural asset for the area and we’ve conducted a detailed assessment of the proposals before reaching this decision.

“We support sustainable developments in the right places.

“But the evidence we’ve scrutinised shows that the proposal submitted could harm the local environment. As such, we can’t grant it a permit.”

As part of our consultation process, last year we conducted a briefing event and drop-in session in Betws y Coed.

Sian Williams added: “Our decision is based entirely on the factual evidence submitted and we’d like to thank all those who responded to our consultation for taking part.”

NRW’s full decision document is available on our website.

Explore more

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to receive monthly updates from Natural Resources Wales