|Date||8 December 2012|
|Location||Maentwrog, Vale of Ffestiniog||SH 65365 39561; 52.93650°N, 4.00473°W|
The hydroelectric power station at Maentwrog in the Vale of Ffestiniog was built by Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners for the North Wales Power Company and opened in 1928. It is fed with water via the two-mile-long pipeline from Maentwrog Dam at Llyn Trawsfynydd. Originally equipped with three turbines, its combined output of 18 MW was at the time more than sufficient to meet the electricity needs of North Wales. An additional turbine was installed in 1934 and when the new dam was being built in 1991 the power station was re-equipped bringing its output capacity up to 30 MW.
The remarkably wet summer of 2012 proved to be something of a boon for the power station, with its generators able to run for up to 14 hours a day, compared to as little as 2 hours a day in dry summers. This June — the wettest one for most of the UK since records started in 1910 — Maentwrog was able to generate an extra 1,000 MWh of electricity. And that is enough to make around 40 million cups of tea.
Maentwrog Power Station is operated by Magnox on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with profits made by the latter being offset against the costs of decommissioning the UK’s legacy nuclear power installations.