Work on preparing the sea bed for the Gwynt y Môr wind farm is starting, but there have been complaints that rock to protect the sea bed from erosion around the 160 turbines is being imported from Cumbria.
It has been argued that North Wales quarries could have provided the stone, helping to secure jobs and even create new ones.
Llandudno’s mayor Greg Robbins was alarmed when he heard the contract to provide scour protection has been awarded to a company called Tideway BV, which will operate out of the port of Barrow in Cumbria, and will use rock sourced from the North West of England.
“Not only is Llandudno in particular, and North Wales in general, going to have views of natural beauty destroyed by the construction of this imposed folly, which is highly carbon negative due to the construction and manufacturing processes involved, but foundation rock is being brought from Cumbria when there are numerous suitable quarries in North Wales that could supply it.
“Why are the communities of North Wales not having the benefit of this procurement which would help to secure jobs?” he asked.
But energy company npower renewables, which is building the wind farm, says North Wales companies were given the opportunity to tender for the contract.
“Our tendering process was fully transparent and open to companies from Wales, UK or Europe that felt they could deliver the full expectations of this crucial renewable energy project.
“Welsh companies took part in the process, which considered a wide range of factors, not just the location of the stone. Amongst others, we wanted to ensure the entire process of sourcing stone, vessel chartering and operation, and stone laying, were robust and could be delivered securely and on time.”
And a spokesman added: “The project will make a significant contribution to the North Wales business economy and communities.
“Construction of the wind farm has directly generated contracts in North Wales worth over £70million. Its long term operation will see the creation of around 100 jobs and further business investments, as well as sustaining a vibrant portfolio of support services across North Wales.
“Also, Gwynt y Môr is enabling the investment of over £19million into the North Wales economy through a community benefits package, plus a further £690,000 over three years into tourism projects in Conwy and Denbighshire.”
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