Leaked documents reveals plans for a network of electricity pylons across Wales
A Welsh countryside charity has revealed details of a leaked document which confirms plans for the construction of an extensive pylon network stretching across Wales.
The Campaign for Rural Wales had asked Bute Energy repeatedly to confirm how they intended to connect proposed wind farm projects, including Nant Mithil in the Radnor Forest, to the National Grid, fearing a network of transmission cables and pylons stretching across the countryside.
Now, CPRW has been shown a leaked document from the company, which has been sent to landowners across Wales setting out plans to construct a transmission network from New Radnor, on the border with England in Mid-Wales, to the National Grid connection at Pont Abraham in Carmarthenshire.
Ross Evans, spokesperson for the Charity, said: “These plans leaked from Bute Energy confirm our worst fears! Connecting any of the plethora of proposed projects in rural Wales was going to be at best a challenge, given that the (Climate Change) Minister, Julie James, has said that the National Grid in Mid Wales is not-fit-for purpose, but building a transmission network across huge swathes of scenic countryside is simply unacceptable!”
“This would leave a huge 60+ mile long transmission cable and pylons across the heart of Wales.
“Meanwhile, the National Grid are in the process of burying transmission cables in Gwynedd as they have accepted that they are an eyesore.”
Mr Evans added: “In the UK, the National Grid are responsible for constructing the energy transmission network. So, it is unclear how Bute Energy are proposing to build this new network.”
“This is not the first time an energy company has claimed something that is outside the realms of their remit, but the fact Bute Energy have put these claims down in writing has worrying implications.
“We would be very interested to know what both the Welsh Government and the National Grid think about these proposals!”
CPRW says it has been inundated with calls from concerned members of the public who have received letters from Bute Energy over the last few days, many of which have been accompanied by proposals to “sign up” to the project.
Mr Evan said: “A community group in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire wrote to us today stating that they have received letters from Bute Energy and Bruton Knowles concerning their plans to connect the Nant Mithil wind farm project to the national grid.
“The letters initially went to all residents in a 4 km corridor and then followed up, they believe, to a further 12 landowners in our area to “conduct surveys” for the installation of 27-metre-high pylons through their community.
“We are urging everyone to consult a solicitor before signing the agreements.”
Bute Energy’s Grid Director confirmed the company is proposing a new 132kV overhead electricity distribution line which will connect the Nant Mithil Energy Par in the Radnor Forest area, to the National Grid at a point near Carmarthen.
Gareth Williams, said: “We are currently engaging with landowners to help us develop a detailed and accurate assessment of potential routes.
“Surveying land does not mean it will form part of the route or have infrastructure placed on it. And before we do any surveys, we will agree the scope of work and timing with landowners.
“Any landowner who has any questions should contact us on the details enclosed with the letters they have been sent.
“Later in 2023, we will be engaging widely with local communities including holding public consultation events to ask local people, landowners, and other stakeholders for their views on our proposals, as well as suggestions for delivering a Community Benefit Fund to communities on the route.
“We will take account of comments received as we develop detailed proposals, which will be subject to further consultation before submitting any application.
“We are in a climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis, and our supply of energy is threatened by world events. Bute Energy is acting now, taking positive proactive steps to help address these issues, while investing in rural communities in Wales to help them have a healthy future.”
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