‘Gaping black hole’ in wind farm proposal says Welsh rural campaign group
A rural campaign group is calling on developers to provide details on how it plans to connect a 36-turbine wind farm proposal in mid Wales to the National Grid.
Developer Bute Energy is proposing to construct a wind farm of 36 wind turbines, each 220m high, at the ‘Nant Mithil Energy Park’ which stretches across Radnor Forest, but The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) says it gives little detail of how it plans to connect the proposal to the National Grid.
CPRW claims it would require a huge new infrastructure development of electricity pylons and cables that would stretch across the border and into England.
Following two public meetings and one online webinar from Bute Energy, CPRW has said it and many members of the public have been left with more questions than answers.
“Several questions put to Bute Energy by CPRW and members of the public at their consultation meetings simply could not be answered.
“Huge questions about how Bute were planning on ever connecting this proposed development to the national grid simply were not answered.”
CPRW added: “With the closest viable connection point to the National Grid being across the border in England, the transmission cables and pylons needed would stretch across the landscape.
“How can people give their honest opinion on this development when they have only been shown a small element in isolation? There is a gaping black hole in this proposal which needs to be filled.
“CPRW is calling for Bute Energy to disclose to the public the full scale of this development, including the massive project to connect it to the National Grid.”
At the public meeting the developers also confirmed that a new crossing across the River Wye would be required to transport the huge turbine blades to the site but could not say how big, what materials or whether this bridge would be permanent or temporary, CPRW has said.
“There are much more questions than answers over the Nant Mithil proposal and I urge the public to let their thoughts know about this before it goes any further,” added the CPRW Spokesperson.
Bute Energy have said that the consultation on Nant Mithil closes for public feedback on 31 October.
Responding, Bute Energy said: “Bute Energy is acting now to deliver clean green energy for Wales, and empower our communities through investment, jobs and skills. We recently presented our early stage proposals for the Nant Mithil Energy Park, which is the start of a year-long period of consultation and refinement of the project, and we’re grateful for the constructive responses and feedback from the local community.
“As we said in our consultation, the proposed grid connection is currently being developed and will be its own separate Development of National Significance (DNS) planning application. A preferred route option will be brought forward for public and stakeholder consultation in early 2023.
“At the recent consultation we presented an overview of the project and our outline plans – including the transportation of equipment and materials to site.
“We are currently assessing the feedback we have received from the public and are waiting for responses from statutory stakeholders, such as Powys County Council, to our request for an Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Direction and pre-application advice.
“We will be presenting a detailed plan as part of a further public consultation next year before we make a full draft of our detailed planning application available for inspection and comment prior to submission later next year.”
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