September 23, 2010

Mold firm wins approval for Powys energy farm

by Martin Williams, Daily Post, 23 September 2010

Bosses at a Mold energy firm were blown away when plans for a wind farm were given the go-ahead.

But West Coast Energy, based on the town’s business park, said Wales was behind its own targets for the production of onshore wind energy.

The company’s bid for the 12-turbine Tirgwynt wind farm near Newtown, Powys, has gained conditional planning approval.

The scheme means the energy firm’s 262ft wind turbines will be able to generate up to 78,000 MWh by 2013 – enough to power 16,000 homes.

In a statement the firm said: “The planning approval is good news at a time when Wales is lagging behind its own targets for onshore wind energy.

“In 2005, the Welsh Assembly called for an extra 800MW of onshore wind energy production by the end of 2010.

“Even counting in the 30MW Tirgwynt will be feeding into the grid, that target will be missed significantly.”

The statement continued: “Tirgwynt is the only application to be approved in mid-Wales since the introduction of the Assembly targets, and it has taken three years to progress.

“The inadequacy of environmental statements and issues with infrastructure has stalled other applications and Tirgwynt was the only one of 16 applications submitted since TAN8 was published that provided sufficient information on which to base a full appraisal and officer recommendation.”

West Coast Energy is now calling on potential business partners to build on its success.

Development manager Richard Fearnall said: “Working with us, partners will not have to find funding for these expensive schemes up front.

“We believe our proposal makes good environmental and commercial sense to landowners, businesses or community groups that lack in-depth knowledge needed to drive the complex and potentially time-consuming development process for these type of projects.”

The news follows Prysmian Cables’ £15million contract to lay cables for the Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm.

The deal will sustain employment at the Wrexham firm and have a positive knock-on effect for sub-contractors in North Wales, according to RWE Renewables, the firm responsible for the coastal project.

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