In our trip to Wales, we’ve been to Electric Mountain. The name is pretty much self explanatory, as it’s a guided tour of the Dinorwig Power Station. The power station is in Elidir Mountain and it’s one of the largest man made caverns in Europe. The power station converts the power of water into electricity and its main objective is to supply a short and high energy boost if required.
Dinorwig is made up of 10 miles of underground tunnels. For the construction of the tunnels, 1 million tonnes of concrete, 200,000 tonnes of cement and 4,500 tonnes of steel were used. It was amazing to hear that the station was built because the traditional stations can’t cope with the increase in energy demand when people are making their tea after a football match. Turning on so many kettles at the same time needs a lot of extra electricity for a short period of time. It’s also interesting that we want to think we are so different, but in reality we all use the kettle at the same time, quite predictable.
The tour started with a short movie about the power station.
After the introductory movie, we all had got our hardhats and we took a seat in the special bus that took us to the center of the power station. We’ve made a stop and the guide explained different aspects of the power station. It was fascinating to hear all the details and there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
The station is in a disused slate quarry. Most of the workforce is local and that was one of the aspects taken into consideration before the project started. The protection of salmon and trout stocks was another issue and there is a small video about the environment at the end of the tour. It’s amazing these steps were taken many years ago to protect the fish.
This power station works with pump storage. So the water is stored in a high lake, when it’s used the water goes through the plant and it gets to a lower lake. During the night, when the electricity is cheaper and the demand is lower, the pumps are set on reverse and the water goes from the bottom lake to the top lake, through the same system. The energy required for this is higher than the one it produces, but this happens at night time as I said, when the electricity is produced, but it’s not used.
It was a lovely tour, very informative and interesting. Both my husband and I enjoyed the experience very much.
The prices for the tour are £8.50 for adults and £4.35 for kids, it’s an unique opportunity to see into a working power station and I think it’s worth it. It’s not suitable for small children as they would get bored and kids under 4 are not allowed. On their website it’s mentioned booking is required. We didn’t book, but it wasn’t exactly the high season and we took the last 2 tickets available at that particular tour or we would have had to wait for a couple of hours. I suggest booking to avoid any issues on a busy day.
Have you been to Electric Mountain?