Rheidol hydropower plant
Rheidol hydropower plant is located near the town of Aberystwyth in the Ceredigion area in Mid-Wales, United Kingdom.
1960Entered into operation
49 MWInstalled capacity
89 GWhAnnual production
Rheidol Power Station is situated in the beautiful Cwm Rheidol valley 8 miles from Aberystwyth in Mid-Wales. Since 1962 the plant has generated renewable energy using rainwater that falls on the surrounding mountains and is the largest of its kind in England and Wales.
The environment was taken into consideration when designing it’s scheme in the 1950’s: The award winning Felin Newydd Falls in Cwm Rheidol were designed to blend in with the surrounding countryside, and many of the scheme’s buildings are clad with local stone.
About the plant
The hydropower plant is made up of an interconnecting group of reservoirs, dams, pipelines, aqueducts and power stations, and covers a total area of 162 square kilometres. The annual energy production is about 85 GWh – enough to power approximately 12,350 homes. From Rheidol, Statkraft operate and maintain not only the hydro-electric scheme but also the onshore windfarms at Baillie, Berry Burn, Alltwalis and Andershaw.
The plant covers an area of 162 square kilometres and is made up of an interconnected group of reservoirs, dams, pipelines, aqueducts and power stations. Their highest peak is situated at 750 meters above sea level in the Plynlimon mountain range.
How does it work?
A series of aqueducts collects the water and channels it into the Nant-Y-Moch reservoir. From there, water flows to a power station at Dinas featuring a 13 MW generator.
Dinas' additional reservoir then supplies water to the largest power station at Cwm Rheidol with two 20.5 MW generators. At Cwm Rheidol, a further reservoir has been created to avoid large variations in the flow of water down river towards Aberystwyth. This reservoir collects the water that flows through the power station and releases it slowly through a 1 MW generator at Cwm Rheidol Dam.
The control room at the Rheidol hydropower plant also monitors the operations of Statkraft’s onshore wind farms in the UK.
With land at Rheidol including Sites of Special Scientific Interest and vast heather beds, the local environment is central to our work. We cooperate closely with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Environment Agency regarding our operations and encourage biodiversity at all opportunities including tree felling and landscaping where logs are left in place for wildlife. We also provide fenced off areas for ant colonies in the forestry behind the main station.
The River Rheidol is an integral part of the Rheidol hydropower scheme and also a breeding area for salmon and trout. The fish originally had to pass Trotter’s Falls to reach their spawning grounds but when the Falls were replaced by a new dam, weir and bridge at Felin Newydd we included/constructed a special 'fish lift' to allow the fish to reach their old spawning grounds. Upstream of the power station a 'fish ladder' was cut into the rock to bypass the Rheidol Falls and thus opened up new spawning grounds to the fish. The fish ladder rises 6 metres and has 14 pools.