Community hydro schemes in Arfon will benefit from continued rate relief following sustained pressure from Plaid Cymru in the Welsh Assembly.
Plaid Cymru AM for Arfon Siân Gwenllian sought assurances from Welsh Government that schemes such as Ynni Ogwen, Ynni Anafon and Ynni Padarn/Peris in her constituency would continue to benefit from a 100% rate relief for 2019 -20.
Siân Gwenllian AM said,
‘I welcome confirmation that business rate relief will be extended for community hydro schemes in my constituency for another year, following continued pressure from Plaid Cymru.’
‘Had this not been secured, community hydro projects were facing steep increases in their rates, some of which had ballooned as much as 900% in recent years.’
‘Plaid Cymru believes that renewable energy projects such as hydro schemes must be an integral part of our energy mix and should benefit local communities.’
‘We are fortunate in Arfon to have so many established and emerging hydro schemes which are community-funded and developed using local business expertise to provide green energy to our area.’
‘I’m glad that we’ve managed to persuade the Welsh Labour Government to extend rate relief for these projects, something that’s been a staple of Plaid Cymru policy.’
‘Plaid Cymru has pledged to create a not-for-profit Welsh energy company to reduce gas and electricity bills for consumers.’
‘If we are to build a green nation then community hydro schemes must be a fundamental part of that. However, small community run schemes require long-term certainty.’
Cyd-Ynni is a community venture comprising of five community energy projects in Gwynedd.
They already have three hydro schemes under the ownership of the community with plans for more over the next two years.
Cyd-Ynni Development Manager Gareth Harrison added,
‘We are pleased to learn that the Welsh Government will provide further rate relief for next year. This ensures our community energy schemes can re-invest their profits within their communities during 2019-20.’
‘The next step is for the Welsh Government to provide long-term certainty for the sector so that our communities can continue to benefit from this type of investment for many years to come.’