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Crown Estate plans new Mabinogi-named wind farms off Welsh coast amid devolution calls

12 Nov 2021 4 minutes Read
Picture by Andy Dingley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The Crown Estate have revealed that they are planning new Mabinogi-named wind farms off the coast of Wales.

Llŷr 1 and Llŷr 2, named after the father of Bendigedfran in Welsh mythology, will be built off the coast of Pembrokeshire alongside two other wind farms called Erebus and, nearer the coast of south-west England, White Cross.

The Llŷr and White Cross wind farms will be “test and demonstration scale projects” for full-commercial scale projects of up to 1GW.

The leasing process could see rights awarded by the end of 2023, with projects delivered from 2030 into the early part of the next decade.

The development comes following a campaign by Plaid Cymru, to be considered by the Welsh Government, to transfer the £500m Crown Estate to Welsh control.

Powers over the management of Crown Estate in Wales are still held in Westminster, and the revenues proceed directly to the UK Government’s Treasury.

In the Senedd on Wednesday the Climate Change Minister Julie James said there would be “undoubtedly a financial benefit, as is very obvious in Scotland, of having the Crown Estate devolved”.

The new wind farms planned would be big enough to power almost four million homes under the plans set out by the Crown Estate. The organisation said that it intended to award leases by the end of 2023.

The UK Government wants 1GW of floating wind generation operating in UK waters by 2030, up from 80 megawatts today.

Huub den Rooijen, Crown Estate managing director of marine, said that the Celtic Sea was “eminently suitable for floating wind because it is deep”.

“We have learnt that you need to invest early on in industrial capability for these industries to compete successfully,” he said.

The project could create opposition in the south-west of Wales as it could necessitate the need for more power cables. The Crown Estate said they would work with the National Grid to try and avoid that.

‘Half a billion’

The value of the Crown Estate Wales’ renewable assets grew from £49.2m in 2020 to £549.1m in 2021, but that wealth was hoarded in the south east of England, Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said.

Last month she urged the Prime Minister to put his ‘levelling up’ rhetoric into action by using the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to “entrust the people of Wales with the means to manage our offshore wind and tidal resources for everyone’s benefit”.

Liz Saville Roberts said: “If COP26 is to be successful, people must be at the heart of our net zero mission. For too long, the UK economy has left too many people behind while wealth and investment hoarded in the south east of England.

“Devolving powers over the Crown Estate would bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control – assets currently controlled by Westminster. Scotland, meanwhile already has these powers.

“Will he support my Bill to devolve the management of the Crown Estate to Wales?”

The value of the Crown Estate Wales’ renewable assets grew from £49.2m in 2020 to £549.1m in 2021, but that wealth was hoarded in the south east of England, Liz Saville Roberts said.

She urged the Prime Minister to put his ‘levelling up’ rhetoric into action by using the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to “entrust the people of Wales with the means to manage our offshore wind and tidal resources for everyone’s benefit”.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Liz Saville Roberts said: “If COP26 is to be successful, people must be at the heart of our net zero mission. For too long, the UK economy has left too many people behind while wealth and investment hoarded in the south east of England.

“Devolving powers over the Crown Estate would bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control – assets currently controlled by Westminster. Scotland, meanwhile already has these powers.

“Will he support my Bill to devolve the management of the Crown Estate to Wales?”

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Catherine Hill
Catherine Hill
23 days ago

Well, at least we won’t have to rename it when we reclaim Cymru, very thoughtful of them.

Dale McElwee
22 days ago
Reply to  Catherine Hill

You will have to buy them back off to the UK.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
22 days ago
Reply to  Dale McElwee

No need seeing Wales hemorrhage trillions in tax taken by the English Treasury with our water, coal & slate resource. They automatically become ours. And that figure doesn’t include all the interest accrued since the industrial revolution to the present day.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
22 days ago
Reply to  Dale McElwee

Please explain how will we have to buy back our own territorial waters?

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
21 days ago
Reply to  Dale McElwee

Why? Did Scotland have to “buy them back”?

Andrew
Andrew
23 days ago

According to one of the interpretations, the children of Llyr were the powers of darkness battling the powers of light? Llyr is also the god of the sea. Will the lights stay on?

Grayham Jones
23 days ago

We in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
22 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

lol!!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
23 days ago

Well the increase in just a year explains why Westminster and the Crown are against devolving control of these assets. Greed. Nothing unusual after centuries of stripping Welsh assets for the benefit of a few in SE England. However, we must now turn this to our advantage in the fight for independence by imagining the wealth Wales could generate for itself with complete control. We have to use this vision to inspire out youth, get them thinking – what if? Independence will be won, not by facts and figures but by us all being excited by what we can potentially… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Scuse butting in, folks, look over England’s head at those small countries that make up the bulk of the EU for example. See how much better they are doing than us as members of the UK. Independence is a no brainer. YES CYMRU!

Last edited 22 days ago by j humphrys
GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
23 days ago

How generous of the English while they steal our resources.

Crwtyddol
22 days ago

Re: Crown Estate income: Another good example of the different privileges Scotland enjoys over Wales

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
22 days ago
Reply to  Crwtyddol

Also free train travel for the over 60 yrs old in northern irlande they also
control the crown estate income where are you Welsh labour MPs you don’t stand up for Wales you never have freedom for Wales I can’t wait

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
22 days ago

Oh, we are so grateful our superior overlords Those nice Wind Turbines blighting the Welsh coastline given names from the four branches of the Mabinogi thus leaving Devon and Cornwall picture postcard seascapes untainted. Makes you feel all warm inside. Does the Crown Estate seriously think by naming Turbines with ancient Welsh bards & warriors like Taliesin or Aneirin will result in little old Taffy compliance & capitulation and it’s back to business as usual screwing the Welsh of £500 million rightfully theirs? Do me a favour. They are totally removed from reality. Time we controlled our own coastline by… Read more »

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