Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is opening proposals for a new hydroelectric scheme in North Wales to public consultation.

Snowdonia Pumped Hydro (SPH) intends to build a 600 MWh pumped electricity storage facility at Glyn Rhonwy near Llanberis in Snowdonia National Park, similar to First Hydro’s Dinorwig pumped hydro station, also near Llanberis. A 49.9MW scheme was granted planning permission by Gwynedd Council in February 2014, and SPH is now applying to nearly double the facility’s output to 99.9MW by increasing the capacity of the underground turbines and associated equipment.

NRW are now consulting on environmental permit applications from SPH to discharge water from the proposed scheme into Llyn Padarn lake and the Nant y Betws valley by Llanberis.

Dylan Williams, Operations Manager for NRW, said: “Llyn Padarn is a vitally important natural asset for the area. We will conduct a thorough assessment of the company’s proposals to ensure they wouldn’t cause environmental damage before deciding on whether or not to issue permits. 

"Among other considerations, Llyn Padarn’s bathing water is of excellent quality and we will have to be satisfied that this will remain the case," added Williams. “We will only issue an environmental permit if we are wholly satisfied that the company’s plans prove they will operate safely, without harming the environment or local communities.”

The consultation runs until 9 November 2016.