Dozens of new wind turbines could soar above the forests of Neath Port Talbot if new proposals are given the green light.
Nuon Renewables has been selected by Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) to apply to build two developments on land it leases from the Assembly.
The areas targeted are north-west of Resolven, where around 10 turbines are proposed, and a bigger area stretching east from Resolven towards Aberdare, where 100-odd turbines could be installed.
It comes on top of the various other wind farms which have either been approved or are being considered for the county.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan insisted Wales had to play its part in tackling climate change and that wind power helped the fight.
He said: “Wind energy is a renewable energy technology that is commercially viable and Wales is ideally suited to harness wind energy.”
A spokesman for Nuon Renewables said it was delighted to have been chosen for the new project, and stressed it would do its best to minimise damage to the landscape.
“We are very excited,” he said.
“We could have gone for a huge amount more (capacity) than we have, but the plan is to do a sensitive job.”
He said it was still very early days, and that an exact location for the proposed turbines hadn’t been identified, although it was likely they would be installed on high ground.”
Both sites in question are in special areas deemed appropriate for wind farm development by the Assembly Government in 2005.
The Nuon Renewables spokesman also insisted that full consultation would take place, and that communities affected by the developments would be in line for financial benefits. These were just two of the selection criteria imposed by FCW during the bidding process.
More wind turbines are planned on FCW-leased land elsewhere in the country.
The Assembly Government is currently well short of its 2010 wind energy target, but there are a huge number of projects in various stages of the planning process.
Yesterday the House of Lords launched a new inquiry into the costs of renewable energy, including the impact of wind farms on rural areas.
Victor Sedgebeer, who lives near Croeserw, said he wasn not convinced about wind power after researching the subject while in the Cymmer Wind Farm Action Group.
He said he felt it wasn’t cost effective, and that it couldn’t guarantee to generate electricity when it was needed, due to the wind’s intermittent nature.
He added: “It’s all right for people to talk about green energy when it doesn’t affect them.”
26 April 2008
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