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Cardigan wind turbine plans unveiled

Plans for a wind turbine in Cardigan have been unveiled, with claims the project that could benefit the whole community.

Cardigan Community Energy (part of the Awel Deg/Fair Wind co-operative) is proposing a single turbine on land owned by Cardigan farmer Richard Jones, at Oernant, just north of the town.

Mr Jones said: “Wind power has to be developed, there is no choice there, so we need to make sure that the local community will benefit from it. I don’t want to see big companies coming in putting up wind farms around here and taking all the profit out of the area. Community-owned turbines like this one will mean we keep money local and local investors and the community will benefit from the profit. I am more than happy to have this one on my land.”

Local projects funded by income from the turbine could include schemes such as installing solar panels on halls, schools, swimming pools and community buildings.

The plan is already being viewed favourably by the committee that runs Cardigan Swimming Pool.

Chair Alan Wilson said: “We fully support this project and look forward to working with Cardigan Community Energy to bring some of the benefits they talk about to the pool. With power bills of £60,000 per annum and cuts of £20,000 a year in funding from Ceredigion, we have a clear need to find new ways to keep going. We definitely see our future in renewables.”

There will be a public exhibition outside the Guildhall in Cardigan on Saturday, June 6, and Saturday, June 13, between 10am and noon, and members of Awel Deg/Cardigan Community Energy will be there to answer questions.

The plan is for a 500kw turbine, with a height to hub of 45m; 67m to blade tip.

A planning application for the proposal will be submitted to Ceredigion Council in the summer.

Awel Deg/Cardigan Community Energy chair, Sarah Wright, said: “We hope that the Oernant community wind turbine will be a small step on the road to a greener future for the Cardigan district. This area is blessed with huge potential for renewable energy generation. The income from our turbine could help to unlock some of that potential and provide a community gain that is guaranteed for 20 years. It is possible that in future all our electricity needs can be met locally.”