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‘Deep’ concerns raised over solar farm set to be the largest in the UK

07 May 2024 5 minute read
Photo Thomas R Machnitzki is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Concerns have been raised following the proposal to build two large scale solar farms – five times the size of the largest active solar farm in the UK – on 3,700 acres of land on Ynys Môn.

Ynys Môn’s Member of the Senedd and Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Ynys Môn in the upcoming Westminster general election have shared their concerns about the impact that building two solar farms in the north of Ynys Môn could have on the island’s vital industries and natural landscapes.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, the Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn and Llinos Medi, Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Ynys Môn in the upcoming Westminster general election, have raised their significant concerns at the proposals to develop two large-scale solar farms on Ynys Môn.

The proposals, put forward by Enso Energy and Lightsource BP to develop 160MW and 350+MW solar farms respectively, would take up around 3,700 acres of land in the north of the island.

UK Government decision

The scale of the projects will mean that the final decision on Enso Energy’s ‘Alaw Môn’ project will lay with Welsh Government, while Lightsource BP’s ‘Maen Hir Energy’ project will be escalated for UK Government to decide on.

Residents have recently raised their concerns at what this project may mean for the future of the farming industry in the north of Ynys Môn, as well as its impact on the island’s landscapes and the lack of economic benefit or employment opportunities that stem from such developments.

The solar farm is said to stretch across an area the size of 1,700 football pitches, with locals describing it as “frightening”.

Lightsource BP hope to build the solar panels across three sites in the north of the island, generating enough energy to power more than 130,000 homes.

With a capacity of 350MW and covering almost 4,000 acres, the Maen Hir development is expected to be almost five times that of the biggest active solar farm in the UK.

According to developers, the solar and energy storage project will help towards reaching net zero targets and they plan to invest in local skills, education and jobs.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS is in the process of organising a public meeting for local residents to share their concerns, and will be sharing any further information as soon as arrangements have been confirmed.


In a recent statement, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, who recently raised the issue with Welsh Government’s Economy and Energy Cabinet Secretary in the Senedd said:

“I have deep concerns about the scale of solar developments proposed on Ynys Môn. These are projects which could lead to the loss of large swathes of productive agricultural land and the associated economic activity and farming jobs, will have a major impact on visual amenity, whilst bringing little local benefits.”

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth.

“Only last week in the Senedd I raised these concerns again. We should be much more innovative in the how we generate of solar power. Doing so on agricultural land is the easy option, and the most profitable for these multinational companies involved. And where developments do happen, our local communities should expect to benefit far more from the large profits made than is currently on offer.

“Investing in renewable energy projects something I strongly support. It’s good for the planet and, done properly, good for our economy too – especially through harnessing the sea around us. But it has to be on our terms.

“I will continue to argue the case for both Welsh and UK governments to recognise the damaging impacts such projects could have when they don’t take our communities’ needs properly into consideration.  I’m also in the process of organising a public meeting and will be sharing further information soon.”


Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Ynys Môn in the upcoming Westminster general election, Llinos Medi, added:

“Many on Ynys Môn, myself included, are worried about the proposals put forward by Enso Energy and BP Lightsource to develop large-scale solar farms in the north of the island.

“These projects will consume thousands of acres of productive agricultural land between them, posing a risk to our farming sector, which is such an important industry on Ynys Môn, while offering little to no economic or social benefits for our local communities.”

Llinos Medi and Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth

“These proposals will also inevitably have a significant impact on our idyllic natural landscapes and I have concerns for the impact on our tourism industry – another important sector in the local economy’s composition.

“This is not about opposing the principle of renewable energy projects that are crucial if we are to meet our net-zero ambitions, but there are better ways for Ynys Môn to play its part. Projects must be delivered on our terms, with the interests of our communities at heart.

“Ultimately, these decisions lie with Ministers in Cardiff Bay and Westminster respectively.  Plaid Cymru and I will keep making the case that the plans – in their current form – would pose great risks to the island and offer very little reward.”

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6 days ago

Wales = energy park for England with bits of leisure hliday homes etc to fill the gaps in between

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago

They are running riot over this land of ours…

6 days ago

All planning permission should come with the proviso that exactly who will benefit and what the profit forecast and costings are, these are publish in the public domain. Not that itrwill power X number of homes, we will still be forced to buy it back at the going rate, we do not get it cheaper.

Last edited 6 days ago by Jeff
5 days ago

You do realise the only reason they want things like this built in Wales is so future generations of the English will not want or allow Wales to go it’s separate way. We are being used, time and time again, and we, unlike the Irish say thank you.

5 days ago

The only benefactors are the solar farm, way to big and ugly

Pam Bell
Pam Bell
5 minutes ago

We need solar; but it doesn’t need to be at the expense of greenspace. We should be using roofs and, if necessary, unused brownspace.

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