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'Dead, defunct, deceased': Scrap Mid Wales windfarms project says MP

Oswestry | News | Published:

Plans for windfarms and a controversial power line are now "dead", an MP said today after discussions with ministers.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said he will write to National Grid to ask them to scrap its Mid Wales Connection Project after talks with Environment Secretary Amber Rudd.

He said he held a discussion with officers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and has been left in no doubt that plans for Mid Wales can no longer proceed.

Mr Davies said plans for five windfarms, which are subject to a public inquiry, and a power line from Powys into Shropshire which would link energy generated by those windfarms to the national supply, should now be axed.

He said: "It is obvious now that the Mid Wales Connection Project is dead, defunct, deceased – a total goner.

About 250 onshore wind projects already in development are likely to be cancelled because the Government is ending subsidies which would aid their completion, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has announced.

The cancellation of subsidies for onshore wind offered under the Renewables Obligation is likely to mean that 2,500 turbines which were due to be built are scrapped, Ms Rudd said.

That is likely to include the controversial Mid Wales Connection Project, which would have seen windfarms in Powys and power lines coming into Shropshire near Oswestry.

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"I am writing to the National Grid chairman today asking for the Mid Wales Connection Project to be ditched as soon as possible.

"Funny thing is I don't feel celebratory at all. Just sad and a bit depressed. So much division, stress, upset and despair has been caused throughout Montgomeryshire for no good reason. National Grid has spent the best part of £20 million of electricity bill payers' money on this.

"National Grid will recharge developers, who will recharge customers. It's always the private individuals and job creating employers who pay."

Speaking in parliament, Miss Rudd said the end of Government subsidies would effetively kill off a number of windfarm projects across the UK.

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She said: "We must continue to take tough judgements about what new projects get subsidies. Onshore wind has deployed successfully to date and is an important part of our energy mix.

"In 2014, onshore wind made up around five per cent of electricity generation, supported by around £800 million of subsidies.

"We could end up with more onshore wind projects than we can afford – which would lead to either higher bills for consumers, or other renewable technologies, such as offshore wind, losing out on support.

"It is therefore appropriate to curtail further subsidised deployment of onshore wind, balancing the interests of onshore developers with those of bill payers."

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