A giant Irish Sea windfarm could create hundreds of jobs in massive on-shore works on Anglesey but impact on the island’s vital tourism industry – a report says.
Centrica Energy/DONG want to build a 440 turbine windfarm, one of the UK’s biggest, 11 miles off the north coast of Anglesey.
This week they have revealed the major on-shore works that would be required to bring the electricity on-shore on the island – including the building of a new sub-station, miles of buried cabling work and multiple cable landfall sites on the shoreline.
Construction would take “several years” to complete and every stage would create significant employment opportunities.
There would be numerous contract opportunities for local businesses and millions of pounds pumped into the economy.
A scoping report on the works required and potential impacts has now been presented to Anglesey council.
But the report also warns that an assessment was needed to look at what impact the work could have on tourism on the north coast of the island. Tourism accounts for around 13% of all jobs on Anglesey.
Anglesey MP Albert Owen said the key was ensuring that local firms were involved in bidding for contracts and that as many jobs as possible were kept local.
He added that to ensure an even bigger investment from the Centrica project Holyhead port had to be at the forefront of the off-shore development – potentially creating hundreds of construction and then long term maintenance jobs.
He said: “The on-shore work will create jobs and business opportunities and although the project may be some way in the future contracts will soon be awarded for preparatory work which is often labour intensive.
“We need to ensure that local firms are involved and I know Centrica, like Horizon have done with Wylfa, will work to involve local firms.
“There will be lots of opportunities with the on-shore work.”
He added: “The key to securing further investment for the off-shore work is developing Holyhead port.
“There will be competition from ports like Belfast for this work so we need to push Holyhead to the forefront by investing in the port.”
The report publishes the potential locations of the sub-station, with the former Shell site at Rhosgoch, and two sites near Cemaes in the running.
There were several potential sites earmarked for the coastal work where the cables will come onshore.
The coastal work could take up to eight months, underground cabling up to 18 months and the sub-station construction up to two years.
The report said: “The construction of the Onshore Works is likely to take several years to complete depending on the final build profile.”
The report said the direct impact associated with the construction was “access to employment for local people”.
It added: “The indirect economic impacts were increased expenditure through local businesses involved in the supply chain. This may generate indirect employment and increased profit and/or revenue to existing business.”
But it warned there could also be disruption to the tourism, leisure and agricultural sectors as a result of construction activity.
The report stated: “The socio-economic impacts will be measured through a range of relevant economic, social and demographic indicators, including employment creation, employment income supported and GVA generated.
“The assessment of impacts on recreational assets will draw upon the findings of the landscape and visual amenity study and the views of relevant consultees, such as recreation or tourism leads within Anglesey council or Visit Anglesey.”
Centrica is holding public information days at Oriel Ynys Mon, Llangefni, today 11am to 7pm, Amlwch Memorial Hall on Friday, 11am to 7pm; Rhosybol Community Hall, Rhosybol, Saturday 10am to 3pm; and Cemaes Village Hall next Monday (11am to 7pm).
A final proposal could be submitted as early as next year.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding