New wind farm proposed for Newtown
A community wind farm could be built in the hills above Newtown.
The project, Garn Fach, could see up to 22 turbines built to the south would see a partnership between 14 farms and the EDF Renewables (EDF R) company and, the company says, generate enough electricity for 66,000 households.
Each turbine could be up to 150 metres high and would be on part of the former Llaithddu wind farm proposal.
Still in pre-planning application stages, EDF R is submitting an application to Powys County Council to erect a mast on site to gather accurate wind speed data.
News of the proposals have been met by calls for more details from local politicians who want to know how the wind farm would connect to the National Grid.
Mark Vyvyan- Robinson, director of development and investments at EDF R, said the company was committed to an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per megawatt.
"This could be around £550,000, depending on the final capacity of the project, per year available for local causes, or £16.5 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project," he said.
"The wind farm will also have the potential for local ownership, with opportunities for local people and organisations to invest and have a stake in the project.
"The Welsh Government has a target for Wales to be generating 70 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030. To achieve this, more electricity will need to be generated from renewable and low carbon sources.
“Garn Fach would help tackle climate change, as well as delivering benefits to the community. We hope the wind farm will be seen as an asset in the community in our fight to tackle climate change.”
Yesterday EDF R submitted an environmental scoping report to the Welsh Government and an application to Powys County Council for the wind speed mast.
Craig Williams MP for Montgomeryshire said: “This application is still in its infancy, and so far very little detail has been given as to the development’s capacity and how it would operate.
"In particular, it needs to be ascertained as to how the wind farm would connect to the National Grid.
"I believe that a grid connection application is still to be submitted and that there are currently no fixed plans as to how power would be transferred to the grid."
Welsh Assembly member, Russell George AM said: “We have seen applications such as this before. The key question is how the power produced from this proposed wind farm is going to be connected to the National Grid.
"Disappointingly, the wind farm application will be determined by the Welsh Government, rather than by Powys County Council and local communities.
"I passionately believe that important planning decisions should be made closest to the people they affect.”