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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Village water power scheme launch
The turbine being installed
The turbine was installed a few weeks ago
A Powys village has become the first in Wales to set up a community hydro-electric scheme to supply the national grid with power.

The project is expected to yield 17,000 a year, money which will then be spent on more energy schemes in Talybont on Usk, near Brecon.

It was opened on Wednesday by First Minister Rhodri Morgan who praised the vision of those behind the project.

A nearby dam, built in the 1930s, is the source of the water power.

Meanwhile, a turbine which will generate the electricity, has been bought by Talybont on Usk Energy, a company set up by villagers to run the business.

The turbine itself is housed in a building leased off Welsh Water.

Local people were keen, knew about the Talybont reservoir and the possibility of water power
Barbara Anglezarke

The scheme will produce enough power for 500 homes.

"This project is an example of how the communities of Wales can come up with all kinds of bright ideas for improving their local environment and the global environment as well," said Mr Morgan, speaking to more than 100 villagers at the opening.

"The people of Talybont are to be congratulated on having the vision and the commitment to make their original idea a reality."

Objective 2 grant

Mr Morgan said the small-scale project would help the Welsh Assembly Government achieve its aim of reaching renewable energy targets by 2010.

The 90,000 project has taken four years to complete and was the brainchild of resident Barbara Anglezarke.

"Local people were keen, knew about the Talybont reservoir and the possibility of water power, and so we set up a public meeting," said Ms Anglezarke.

Chairman of Talybont-on-Usk Energy, Mike Bugler, said bringing the different parts of the scheme together took more time than expected.

Funding has come from a number of organisations including an Objective 2 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Hydro-electric plan for Highlands
07 May 03 |  Scotland
Water power 'fuels climate change'
31 May 00 |  Science/Nature

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