Bosses across North Wales are being urged to investigate the potential of hydro-electric schemes to generate green energy.

The call comes from the business leaders of the region who visited the community energy organisation, Ynni Ogwen in Bethesda, Gwynedd.

This discovery trip was planned by the Net Zero North Wales Network, an organisation dedicated to helping businesses to create a path towards a carbon-free future.

Their goal is to share information and best practise to help businesses and organisations as part of a campaign to help the region reach net zero status.

Founded in 2015, Ynni Ogwen operates a hydro scheme has been funded by local people and organisations who invested more than £450,000 worth of shares.

The community Electric Bus, Tom Boome, MikeLearmond,, Ashley Rogers, Gareth Cemlyn  (Image: Rick Matthews)

Their 100 kilowatt turbine harnesses the power of River Ogwen and has since then saved around 1,300 tonnes of carbon while generating profits from selling electricity to the National Grid.

Ynni Ogwen's chair, Gareth Cemlyn Jones said: "It's a very mature technology that's tried and tested since the beginning of the last century."

He added: "We need to concentrate more on hydro because it’s clean – we only borrow the water, we don’t steal it because it goes back into the river."

The enterprise has also initiated the Heuldro programme offering solar panels for community and business establishments.

So far, seven locations have benefitted from this project.

Profits from their hydro-electric scheme have been invested in an all-electric community transport fleet.

Ashley Rogers, chief executive of the North Wales Business Council, lauded the scheme's simplicity and practicality.

Afon Ogwen  (Image: Rick Matthews)

He said: "This particular net zero solution has been hiding in plain sight all along- what I like is the simplicity of the scheme in Bethesda, from hydro, moving to solar and providing electric minibuses for the community.

"Businesses can learn a lot from these projects to help reduce their own carbon footprints."

Meanwhile, Walis George, development co-manager at Ynni Ogwen said: "We have a history in Wales of local communities coming together to come up with local solutions, including community run pubs and shops and a growing number of community-based hydro schemes

“This scheme should pay for itself within 15 years and Ynni Ogwen has benefited from the fact that the wholesale price of electricity went through the roof over recent years.

“We are eager to engage with local business owners and tenants of commercial premises about the benefits of solar energy."

Adding to this, Mike Learmond, North Wales senior development manager of the Federation of Small Businesses said: "I’ve been really impressed with the community focus of what Ynni Ogwen are doing and I would certainly recommend that businesses in the area have a look at hydro."

An update on Ynni Ogwen will be shared at the upcoming Net Zero Network meeting at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, July 10.

To confirm your attendance at the session, visit