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Renewed calls for undergrounding as pylon consultation draws to an end

05 Mar 2024 4 minute read
An example of the type of pylon proposed

Plaid Cymru politicians have reiterated their calls for a controversial proposed pylon route between south Ceredigion and Carmarthen to be undergrounded as the initial consultation period draws to an end.The Green Gen Towy Teifi project will link Bute Energy’s proposed Lan Fawr Energy Park, north of Lampeter, into a new National Grid substation proposed for south of Carmarthen.

“National significance”

As part of the project, a 52km-long 132kV overhead line has been proposed – with the development in its first phase before a formal application is submitted, classified as a Development of National Significance in Wales.

As part of the initial consultation process, significant concerns have been raised by residents and businesses about the visual, environmental and economic impact of the proposed overhead line – with several public meetings and campaign groups forming over recent weeks to oppose the proposals.

Concerns have been echoed by local Plaid Cymru politicians, who have pressed on the proposed line to be buried underground – in accordance with best practice in other areas of the UK and Europe.

Concerns over the proposed Tywi Teifi network were raised in the Senedd last week with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, by Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales, reiterating calls for the undergrounding of the route.


Responding to Mr Campbell’s question, First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the Welsh Government’s policy – being “electricity transmission cables should be placed underground where possible, not just in designated landscapes, but where possible.”

Cefin Campbell MS also outlined the case for the Welsh Government to consider cable ploughing in future electricity transmission projects.

The methods involves moving machinery cutting a slit in the ground and laying a cable or duct as it goes along with the disturbed ground flattened and reinstated as part of the process.

Cable ploughing allows the burial of up to a Kilometre of132kV cable in a day – and is considered to be more cost effective and less disruptive than other methods of undergrounding or pylon erection.

“Length and breadth of Wales”

Speaking following his question, Cefin Campbell MS: “I’m glad the First Minister reiterated the Welsh Government’s stance that cables should be placed underground where possible.

“With more and more of these overhead pylon proposals popping up across the length and breadth of Wales, now is the time to put such policy into practice.

“We already know that undergrounding is already commonplace in many European countries – particularly through the developing cable plough technolog. Welsh Government should be placing greater emphasis for developers to incorporate such undergrounding into their proposals.”

Adam Price, Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr added: “Time after time, Plaid Cymru have made the case for these proposed overhead cables to be undergrounded – learning from best practice in other areas of the UK and Europe.

“We’ve already pressed for the Welsh Government to conduct a review into the feasibility of undergrounding electricity cables – and I have no doubt that such developing technology should be considered as commonplace in future proposals.”

Ann Davies, Plaid Cymru Westminster candidate for the new Caerfyrddin constituency concluded: “Over recent weeks I have attended public meetings all along the proposed Towy Teifi line and the message has been clear – put them underground.

“I will continue to make the case for this route to be undergrounded, together with the Towy Usk proposals which have caused so much concern in the Tywi Valley and beyond over the past year.”

Green Gen Cymru’s initial consultation on the proposed route runs until 6 March 2024, and can be completed by visiting their website:

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Rob jones
Rob jones
4 months ago

It would be disgusting if they were allowed to put up unsightly pylons a criminal act

4 months ago

Their missing the point 1. Should these pylons and turbines even be built? Wales produces surplus electricity 2. Windpower is a multiplier of scams It does not provide the host communities with cheaper electricity; 3. it’s a hollow , empty gesture by Welsh govt pretending to fighting climate change; 4. when those blades stop turning taxpayers still have to sub the companies; Companies are mainly foreign owned and shareholders are City based; 5. LoCal farms and land being bought up by these companies thus commodifying our countryside; 6. Another form of extracting Welsh natural resources. 7. Not much surge in… Read more »

4 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor

You are wasting your time. Too many people on here are blinkered fundamentalist adherents of the fashionable green gospels regardless of real merit. They are quite relaxed about the Bay regime conniving with big corporations to extract value from Wales with little or no return for local residents by way of reduced prices, equity share or any other form of annual return.

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
4 months ago

Wales can reach net zero, and generate twice the electricity it uses, using only offshore wind that can be transmitted subsea to existing brownfield sites to connect to the grid There is no need for any onshore turbines unless local communities request them, and no need for these lines of pylons to get power to the communities These lines of pylons are only to get the power out, not the necessary power in If any of these pylon lines were actually necessary for local communities they would be included in the Ofgem approved business plans of NGED and SPEN. They’re… Read more »

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