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Cefn Coch chosen as Powys substation site  

Credit:  BBC News | www.bbc.co.uk 31 July 2012 ~~

The village of Cefn Coch has been selected as the preferred site for a controversial electricity substation in Powys.

Plans could see the hub, near Llanfair Caereinion, linked by more than 100 high voltage pylons.

The announcement was made by the National Grid at a meeting in Welshpool.

Opponents say the substation and the pylons, to service wind farms, will disfigure the countryside.

Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (Map) called the decision a “travesty” and are organising a meeting for local residents in Cefn Coch at 17:00 BST.

It said massive pylons would “destroy countryside through Llansantfraid (near Welshpool) to Frankton (near Ellesmere, Shropshire)”.

The National Grid announced its preferred options for the 19-acre (7.6ha) substation more than a year ago.

Abermule, near Newtown, was also proposed as a possible location.

Pylons, some measuring 154ft (47m), are planned to carry electricity to the transmission network in Shropshire, although the National Grid said underground cables would also be used.

A National Grid spokesperson said: “National Grid has announced the route corridor and substation site needed to connect new windfarms in mid Wales to the high voltage electricity network in Shropshire.

“Cefn Coch in Powys has been identified as the preferred area for the substation and the ‘red north’ route via Llansantffraid to Lower Frankton in Shropshire as the preferred route corridor.

“It has not yet been decided how the connection will be constructed but, based on work so far, it is likely that a combination of both overhead lines and underground cables will be used. We will now carry out more work to identify the most appropriate technology for different parts of the route.

National Grid has held a number of public exhibitions in relation to its plans, attended by more than 6,000 people.

The proposals, aimed at connecting with about 10 wind farms, have prompted protests. About 1,500 campaigners gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in May last year against the plans.

But National Grid said mid Wales had been identified as an important location for onshore wind and a number of wind farms were proposed by several companies.

Mid and West Wales AM William Powell, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, said the decision would have a huge impact on people.

He added: “While it is natural that there will be a sense of relief in the village of Abermule, and other communities along the potential southern corridor up to and beyond the Shropshire border, there are no winners from today’s announcement.

“This decision is certain to have a huge negative impact on many people, therefore I think is it vitally important that those who stand to be affected take time to reflect on the options available to them.

“In any event, there must be a comprehensive compensation package for landowners, businesses and communities affected by today’s announcement.”

Dr David Clubb, director of RenewableUK Cymru, said: “We welcome the announcement from National Grid outlining the next stage of public consultation for an upgrade to the mid Wales grid.

‘Unlock investment’

“Network upgrades are needed to connect the green energy generated in the area to the electricity transmission system to serve local homes and businesses.

“Onshore wind offers a real opportunity for Wales to unlock investment and create jobs.”

“RenewableUK Cymru looks forward to engaging further with local stakeholders and National Grid on the next stage of this consultation over the coming months.”

Work on the substation could be finished by 2015.

Source:  BBC News | www.bbc.co.uk 31 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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