* Trust will sell renewable power for the first time
* Three projects to connect to the grid by end 2014
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, April 23 Britain's conservation charity
the National Trust switched on its first large-scale renewable
energy project on Wednesday and launched a new trading company
to sell its power to the country's national grid.
Sales from the Hafod y Llan hydroelectric project in
Snowdonia, Wales could generate 300,000 pounds ($504,700) a year
for the charity and mark the first of several schemes on Trust
land which could help power homes in Britain, Patrick Begg,
Rural Enterprises Director at the National Trust said by
While the cash generated is modest, Begg said it was an
important step for the Trust to show power could be produced at
areas of natural beauty without ruining the landscape.
"We have beautiful land and wonderful resources and wanted
to demonstrate how this could be used to generate electricity
but with the lightest possible touch and footprint," he said.
The turbines at the Hafod y Llan scheme can generate 1,900
megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power around
445 homes, but are largely hidden Begg said.
Two more hydro projects, at Hafod y Porth by Craflwyn in
Wales and Stickle Ghyll in the Lake District will be able to
sell surplus power by the end of the year while there are a
further 9-10 sites which could be connected to the grid in the
future Begg said.
The Trust has also created a new company; called National
Trust (Renewable Energy) Ltd, that will be sell the energy
produced to green energy company Good Energy Group.
"This is a fantastic project and shows renewables and
conservation working hand in hand," said Juliet Davenport, CEO
of Good Energy.
There are more than 250 small and medium-scale renewable
energy schemes at National Trust sites across England and Wales,
including biomass, solar and hydro technology, most of which
power the Trust's own properties.
The Charity hopes to generate half of its energy from
renewable sources by 2020 and halve its fossil fuel use in the
same period, which along with the revenue generated from selling
power, could save around 4 million pounds it said.
The National Trust is a British charity which protects and
opens to the public more than 350 historic houses, gardens and
($1 = 0.5944 British Pounds)
(Reporting By Susanna Twidale, editing by David Evans)