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Wind farm with turbines taller than the Eiffel Tower could be built off North Wales coast

Plans for a wind farm off the coast of North Wales have been revealed – with the potential for 332 metre high turbines.

innogy Renewables wants to build Awel y Môr just over 10km off the coast of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay as an extension to its Gwynt y Môr scheme.

It could include up to 107 wind turbines to the west of the 160 windmills of Gwynt y Môr with the Environmental Impact Assessment part of the scoping report submitted.

The plans have shown the potential maximum height of the turbine tip could be over 330 metres – a touch taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

In comparison Gwynt y Môr turbines are 150 metres high.

Innogy made clear it has not selected a turbine for the scheme and that this is a maximum design scenario. The current tallest wind turbine in the world is around 250 metres high.

A spokeswoman told North Wales Live: “Innogy has begun work to scope the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a potential extension to the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm which will be called Awel y Môr.

“A formal submission for a Scoping Opinion is expected to be made to PINS by innogy on 11 June.

“Work is in the very early stages, with an application for consent not expected to be made until 2022 following extensive environmental and technical assessments, and consultation with the public and other interested parties.

“Due to the early stage of development the size and number of turbines is still to be determined. At this stage, information is being provided on the maximum possible tip height, taking into account turbine technology advancements and in order to future-proof the project.”

The report states: “Offshore turbine models are continuously evolving and improving; therefore, the exact wind turbine model will be selected post-consent from the range of models available at the point of procurement.”

If they were to develop turbines of that maximum height the total number involved in Awel y Môr would reduce by around half. The scheme will cover 106km2 with the closest distance to shore 10.6km.

Gwynt y Môr – which is serviced from Mostyn Port – had originally caused controversy and sparked fears over the impact on views and potential damage to the tourism industry – but these concerns proved unfounded.

Innogy, which employs around 100 permanent staff in Wales, said the scheme would help towards meeting the Welsh Government’s ambitious target to generate 70% of its electricity needs from Welsh renewable sources by 2030 and to reach “net-zero” by 2050.

Put together, the onshore, offshore and hydro projects from innogy’s operations produce enough electricity to meet the equivalent needs of more than 550,000 homes, which is approximately half the households in Wales.

The scoping report will come ahead of a Development Consent Order(DCO) application for the scheme and an application for a Marine Licence.

The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would make any final decision.

It is anticipated that National Grid will be required to undertake an extension to the existing building and substation boundary at the existing Bodelwyddan 400kV substation in order to accommodate Awel y Môr.

Darren Millar, MS for Clwyd West, said: “North Wales already has more than its fair share of offshore turbines so to install these mammoths will rub salt in the wounds of those who campaigned against the wind farms currently off our coast.”