Plans to keep 25-year-old Llyn Alaw windfarm going for an extra decade
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
An Anglesey windfarm could remain operational for another decade if proposals are backed by local planners.
The Llyn Alaw Windfarm stands at the northern shore of the man-made reservoir which provides drinking water for the north of the island.
Work on the windfarm, based at the hamlet of Llanbabo near Llanddeusant, started in 1996 with the 34 turbines capable of generating enough energy to power 11,324 homes.
The turbines themselves each have a maximum tip height of 53 metres.
But with the original 25 year planning consent set to expire in late 2022, operators Ventient Energy Limited want to expand its lifespan by another ten years until October 2032.
The submitted plans follow a separate application to expand the operational life of another island windfarm until 2031, namely the Trysglwyn site near Rhosybol.
The supporting documents which have been submitted to Anglesey Council’s planning department, note that if approved it would also result in an extended period of its community benefits fund.
“The Llyn Alaw turbines are not a new addition to the landscape and are an established feature of the local landscape, which would mean that for many people their retention for a further 10 years would be much less likely to bring about notable effects, compared to the introduction of a new development.”
The developers go on to note that with more now known about wind power, “with hindsight” it is now known that properly maintained turbines are capable of operating beyond their original design life, and thus generate more renewable power.
“Rents payable to local landowners will be paid over this extended period. There will be the trickle down spend in the local economy associated with these and the economy will also benefit from the associated business rates that the applicant will continue to pay.
“In addition, the community benefit fund will continue to run for an additional 10 years, which currently totals over £42,000 per annum (£2,060, per MW index linked).
“However, Ventient is proposing to increase the community energy fund to £3,000 per MW (index linked) from when the current consent expires.
“Therefore, by extending the operational life of the wind farm there will be increased continued local economic contribution for an additional 10 years.”
It’s expected that Anglesey Council’s planning department will consider the application over the coming weeks.