Statkraft’s Rheidol Hydropower Plant, near Aberystwyth, will open its doors to the public tomorrow (Saturday, 9 September) when it hosts an end of summer fete.
From 11am to 3pm, in the grounds of its popular visitor centre at Cwm Rheidol, there will be a whole host of activities and entertainment taking place, including a selection of stalls selling locally made produce, a bouncy castle, face painting, horse rides, hot food, bee-keeping demos, and much more. Tours of the power station will also be available on the day. The event is free but there will be an opportunity to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance.
The Rheidol Hydropower Plant marked 60 years in operation in 2022 and is the largest of its kind in England and Wales. The plant covers 162 square kilometres and is made up of an interconnected group of reservoirs, dams, pipelines, aqueducts, and power stations. The site generates enough electricity each year to power 25,000 homes with clean, green electricity.
Sarah South, from Statkraft’s Rheidol Hydropower Plant said: “Whether you’re one of our neighbours, or visiting the area for the weekend, everyone is very welcome to join us for our 2023 summer fete. We’re hoping people will come down to the site to enjoy the entertainment and stalls, and sample some local produce, while also exploring the visitor centre, hydropower station and dam, and finding out more about how the plant operates on a daily basis.
“This is the first time since the pandemic that we’ve been able to host something like this, and with Rheidol marking its 60-year anniversary in 2022, we wanted to celebrate the milestone with an event that everyone can enjoy. We’re looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, 9 September, so do please come along.”
The visitor centre is currently open daily until the end of September when it will close until spring next year. It offers a series of interactive displays about the Rheidol hydro scheme, a historical film, a café serving light refreshments, and an outdoor space to absorb the views of the Rheidol valley and reservoir.
Generating power is just one part of the hydro scheme, the 30 strong on-site team is also responsible for managing the biodiversity on the land in which the hydro scheme is situated. Statkraft has created a wildflower meadow to provide bees and insects with food and shelter and encourage pollination, the scheme also has a fish ladder to allow native fish to reach spawning grounds as well as introducing beehives to offer bees a home to breed and produce honey.
The team at Rheidol also monitors all of Statkraft’s other UK renewable projects, whether it a wind farm elsewhere in Wales or grid stability schemes in northern Scotland or Liverpool. These projects bring highly specialised and technological jobs to this rural area of Wales.
For more about Rheidol, visit the Statkraft website.