Western Power Distribution has been given the go-ahead to connect Brechfa Forest West wind farm with the national grid – despite strong public opposition.
Permission was granted by Westminster when Greg Clark, Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, gave it the go-ahead.
This connection will allow electricity to flow from Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm to an existing electricity network near Llandyfaelog.
Planning consent has already been granted for Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm.
Developers, Innogy Renewables UK Ltd, plan to start construction of the wind farm soon.
Once operational, the 28 turbine wind farm could generate 57.4MW; the equivalent to the domestic needs of up to approximately 38,800 households annually.
Bethan Edwards, Innogy’s project developer for Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm, said: “We are delighted with this news.
“Construction of Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm could support a significant investment and unlock community investments for the local area.”
The application was strongly opposed by both local residents and elected representatives, including unanimous opposition from county councillors who supported a council motion – proposed by councillor Alun Lenny – to call for all electricity cables to be installed underground.
Despite partial success in downsizing the scale of the project and the agreement to install part of the connection underground, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards slammed the decision, and the welcome given to it by the Welsh Government.
Mr Edwards said: “Prime Minister Theresa May said just weeks ago that she wants people to have ‘more control over their lives’ yet her government has since approved a development that entire communities have opposed.
“Similarly, to see two Welsh Government Ministers welcome this decision with glee and brand it as ‘great news for Carmarthenshire’ is an insult to local communities and the people I represent.
“I’ve been very proud to work with the strong community campaign which, despite this unwelcome decision, has achieved remarkable success in considerably diminishing the impact of this project, not least in seeing some of the installation underground and out of sight.”
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