Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has issued environmental permits to a company in relation to operating a hydro-electric scheme in North Wales.
The permits allow Snowdonia Pumped Hydro to carry out proposed water discharge activities into Llyn Padarn and Nant y Betws in Llanberis to operate a pumped storage facility for the hydro-electric scheme at Glyn Rhonwy.
The permits are issued with strict conditions to protect the environment.
Euros Jones, Operations Manager for NRW, said: “Llyn Padarn is a vitally important natural asset for the area. It’s important for wildlife, for people and the local economy.
“We only issue an environmental permit if we are satisfied that the company’s plans prove they will operate safely, without harming the environment or local communities."
NRW carried out in-depth assessment of the applications, gathering advice and technical evidence before deciding to grant the permits.
The company withdrew previous permit applications after being told by NRW that they had not provided enough information about the day-to-day operation and management of the scheme. The new application, submitted in October 2016, has satisfied previous concerns. The permits include conditions that provide appropriate protection to the environment.
NRW’s role is to examine permit applications and decide whether to grant a permit or refuse the application. All relevant information raised during the consultation was considered as part of this.
Environmental permits are separate from the planning process, which is managed by Gwynedd Council and the Planning Inspectorate.
To operate this kind of facility legally, a company needs environmental permits as well as planning permission.