Power lines serving the Brechfa Connection wind farm scheme will run under ground on the outskirts of Carmarthen it has been confirmed.
Earlier this year, town councillors said the wooden pylons proposed to cross the River Towy, near Abergwili Bridge, would be a blight on the landscape and affect the Towy Valley.
However, Western Power Distribution (WPD) has now announced the line will run beneath the town from Abergwili to the other side of the valley, near Llangunnor. Power would then be taken power through Llandyfaelog, south of Carmarthen to Swansea, via Burry Port.
In a further move, where the line will be above ground it will be carried on single poles instead of the originally proposed H frames.
This is due to the refusal of permission for the Bryn Llywelyn wind farm, meaning not as much power is needed to be carried.
Councillor Alun Lenny welcomed the announcement of the undergrounding of lines through Carmarthen and its outskirts.
He said: “The most significant meaning to this is that the iconic view of the Towy Valley from Llangunnor hill will not be spoilt.
“From my understanding the cables will be underground from Peniel through Abergwili and under the Athletic training ground in the village before going across the valley over towards Llangunnor.
“I am delighted that WPD has listened to the views of the public and the town council over this issue.”
The project will connect both Brechfa Forest East and Brechfa Forest West wind farms to the electricity network. Both wind farms are being developed by RWE.
The total length of the connection is around 19 miles of which WPD is proposing to underground around 4.3 miles.
The main sections of underground cables are two miles running beneath the River Towy and a similar length under the River Cothi. Further underground cables would be used immediately to the west of Abergorlech.
The rest of the connection will be made by overhead line on single and twin wood poles.
Andrew Hubbold at WPD said: “WPD has an obligation to connect the wind farm developer to the electricity network.
“Following two stages of consultation and extensive technical and environmental surveys, we have now chosen our preferred route alignment which includes two sections of underground cable at the River Cothi and one across the Towy Valley.
“In autumn this year WPD will publish a report which sets out how the third and final stage of consultation will be carried out on this proposed connection.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards cautiously welcomed the move.
He said: “It appears the impact of the scheme will be much diminished with proposals to install some cables underground and the use of single wooden poles for the electricity line.
“This in itself is a victory for the efforts of the community campaign that AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas and I supported to protect Bryn Llewellyn, but is far from the full under-grounding that our constituents demand.
“We will be studying the proposals in greater detail and speaking with constituents about these plans as the next round of consultation gets underway.”
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