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Atlantic Array wind farm: Exhibitions open in Porthcawl

Plans for a huge offshore wind farm in the Bristol Channel are to go on show to people across south and west Wales.

The Atlantic Array project would be about 10 miles (16km) off the south Wales coast and nearly nine miles (14km) off north Devon.

Developers RWE npower renewables say up to 417 turbines would provide enough electricity to power 1.1m households.

A consultation has been held in Devon and the first of seven exhibitions in Wales opens in Porthcawl on Wednesday.

It is thought the development will cover an area of sea similar in size to the Isle of Wight.

Developers claim it could provide the equivalent of more than 90% of the domestic electricity consumption needs of Wales.

It would be about three times the size of the Gwynt y Mor project which involves 160 turbines off the north Wales coast.

When the project was first unveiled four years ago, the cost was estimated at £3bn.

It is hoped the wind farm can be up and running by 2016.

Members of the public are invited to view plans and speak to the project’s development team.

Robert Thornhill, development manager for the Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm, said: “The aim of holding seven exhibitions in seven different locations is to provide as many people in south Wales as possible with the opportunity to meet the team behind the project.”

He said it would help them understand offshore wind energy and the benefits to the economy, the environment and communities.

“The responses and feedback we receive from local residents and businesses are essential as they will help shape the final report which forms part of our final planning application,” he added.

An application for a development consent order is being submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

A public consultation has already started and will close on 10 November, 2011.

WINDFARM EXHIBITIONS

Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl (21 September)
The Fourwinds Hotel in Port Talbot (22 September)
North Gower Hotel in Llanrhidian (23 September)
Civic Centre in Swansea (24 September)
Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli (27 September)
Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby (28 September)
Cleddau Bridge Hotel in Pembroke Dock (29 September)