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Conwy wind farm snub

A county council economic spokesman told owners of a wind farm he’d rather see a tidal lagoon than more giant turbines off the coast.

Cllr Goronwy Edwards, Conwy County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, revealed he told Innogy Renewables the council’s preferences during a presentation about Awel y Mor wind farm extension.

Speaking at Thursday’s full council meeting, he said the new field would see Gwynt y Mor field “double in size” in the direction of Anglesey.

The proposals, revealed earlier this year, would see giant turbines taller than the Eiffel Tower (up to 330m) situated off the coast.

He said: “This is a significant development and they have secured rights from the Crown to the west of the existing wind farm.

“I did repeat the position of Conwy (County) Council – we are very much in favour of a tidal lagoon which will secure a greater benefit both for energy production and for coastal protection into the next generation.”

Cllr Edwards said a timetable had been set out, with a public consultation planned for November.

The scheme will be fully designed throughout 2020-21 before an application for consent to both UK and Welsh Governments in 2022.

Innogy’s current onshore and offshore projects supply around half of the homes in Wales (550,000).

Awel y Mor would be 10km off the Conwy coastline with up to 107 turbines, the largest more than doubling the size of the 150m structures on Gwynt y Mor.

Conwy County Council leader Sam Rowlands has backed the idea of tidal lagoons as a way of capturing wave power and helping protect the coastline from rising seas caused by environmental change.

Plans were unveiled for a £590m tidal lagoon earlier this year by Mostyn SeaPower Ltd, with a 6.7km breakwater stretching from Mostyn to Point of Ayr and turbines capable of generating 298 Gigawatt hours of energy each year.

It could be in commission and generating electricity by 2027 and could power around 82,000 homes.