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Windfarm developer scraps plans for Conwy’s Nant Bach site after 10 years in development

A developer is scrapping a planned windfarm because its turbines would neither be tall nor profitable enough.

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall is ditching the eleven turbine Nant Bach wind energy project in Conwy, after 10 years in development and four years since gaining planning consent.

The developer said the 22MW Vattenfall windfarm’s turbines would have been only 100 metres high – comparatively short in the industry.

The site was 1.2km south of Llanfihangel Glyn-Myfyr, Conwy.

The taller they are, the stronger the winds, the more the productivity and the more economic to run.

Nant Bach no longer fits into Vattenfall’s strategy of “developing and operating the very best wind energy sites capable of delivering low cost, competitive green power that finds a route to market”.

Jonny Hewett, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Nant Bach scheme, said: “It’s obviously disappointing to have to stop the Nant Bach wind energy project after 10 years of development.

“We have had local support and the region’s economy would have benefited from any investment but the reality is that Nant Bach was a scheme conceived 10 years ago when energy policy encouraged the maturity of the new wind power industry.

“The market has moved on and left Nant Bach behind.”

A Vattenfall spokesman added: “If windfarms are to be successful in future market conditions they are looking to be that bit taller to ensure that they can produce power at the lowest possible cost and to be competitive.”

In order to use larger turbines the company would have had to re-file for planning permission.

Industry insiders suggested larger turbines may have struggled to secure consent now the government has announced changes to planning policies for onshore wind farms, which effectively give locals the final say over applications.

The government is preparing to close its Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme for new wind farm projects from next year.