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Consent granted for major offshore wind farm project

20 Sep 2023 4 minute read
The Gwynt y Môr windfarm

A major wind farm project off the Welsh coast has been granted a Development Consent Order by the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Claire Coutinho has granted consent for Wales’ largest renewable energy investment this decade, RWE’s Awel y Môr offshore wind farm.

The project will be located alongside the already operational 576 megawatt Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm and the operator claims it will create hundreds of skilled jobs during construction and operation, both directly and throughout the supply chain.

The development is being led by RWE, which also operates north Wales’ other offshore wind farms, Gwynt y Môr, North Hoyle and Rhyl Flats.

Awel y Môr is expected to be operational before 2030 with a maximum of 50 turbines at a maximum height of 332 meters . It will become Wales’ largest renewable energy project power, producing enough electricity to power 500,000 homes

The team is now awaiting the granting of the necessary marine licence from Natural Resources Wales, in order to progress the project into its construction phase.

Major milestone

Tamsyn Rowe, RWE Project Lead for Awel y Môr, said: “With the Development Consent Order for Awel y Môr now in place, we have achieved a major milestone on our journey towards delivering an offshore wind farm capable of powering more than half a million homes with clean, renewable energy.

“We hope to secure our marine licence in the coming months, plus carry out offshore site investigations on the seabed as we begin to finalise plans for construction.

“To that end, I would also encourage any company with an interest in potentially joining the supply chain for Awel y Môr to sign up to RWE’s Supplier Transparency Engagement Programme.”

The team is also working on plans to prepare the local supply chain so that the immediate region as well as the wider UK can potentially reap the benefits of the multi-billion investment which the project represents.
In addition to Awel y Môr, RWE is also supporting Grŵp Llandrillo Menai in the development of its new £11.2m Rhyl Campus, which will house our UK wind turbine technician apprenticeship scheme.

Danielle Lane, RWE’s Director of Development for UK and Ireland, added: “Set alongside the UK’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm at North Hoyle, which RWE continues to operate, Awel y Môr is firmly at the heart of our plans for renewable energy generation.

“However, to make this happen, Government will need to ensure a suitable CfD (Contracts for Difference) auction that is fit for purpose and capable of unlocking the fantastic clean energy and investment opportunities that Awel y Mor and our broader offshore wind portfolio represent for the UK’s supply chain and its ambitions to expand offshore wind, ecarbonize the energy system and achieve net zero.

“As the largest power generator in the UK, we have ambitions to invest up to £15bn in new clean energy projects and infrastructure by 2030, with north Wales set to continue in its key role.”

RWE is involved in four of the UK’s seven offshore wind extension projects, plus two Round 4 Dogger Bank South projects.

In north Wales, RWE is also progressing plans for onshore wind farms at Gaerwen and Alwen. The company is also exploring offshore floating wind projects, including in the Celtic Sea region.

It is developing Awel y Môr, in a Joint Venture with partners Stadtwerke München (30 per cent) and Siemens Financial Services, the financing arm of Siemens (10 per cent).

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