RenewableUK Cymru has welcomed EDF Renewables announcement of a plans to develop a wind farm called Garn Fach, south of Newtown, Powys, in partnership with 14 local farming families.
The project is likely to consist of up to 22 turbines, each producing around 5 MW. That’s 110MW capable of generating enough low carbon electricity for the domestic needs of 66,000 households*. Ahead of submitting a planning application for the wind farm at the end of 2020, EDF R has been carrying out ecological and other feasibility surveys.
Today (Thursday 9th January), EDF R is submitting an environmental scoping report to the Welsh Government and an application to Powys County Council to erect a met mast on site to gather accurate wind speed data. EDF R is committed to an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per MW, which could be around £550,000 (depending on the final capacity of the project) per year available for local causes, or £16.5 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project.
The wind farm will also have the potential for local ownership, with opportunities for local people and organisations to invest and have a stake in the project.
RenewableUK Cymru Head Rhys Wyn Jones said “It’s great to see plans announced for a project that could make a vital contribution to meeting carbon emission reduction and renewable power targets in Wales, with all the economic benefits investment that onshore wind brings to local economies as well as consumers. We’re seeing new market opportunities to bring forward onshore wind projects at different scales but to meet our net zero emissions target at lowest cost, we need to see the new UK Government set an energy strategy which supports onshore wind. New projects must be allowed to compete for UK Government-backed contracts to generate power and we need to update our planning rules so that we can use the latest technology and replace older wind farms with new turbines. Welsh Government also has a vital role to play in ensuring the planning regime underpinning larger renewable energy developments is fit for a new decade”.
* Load factors based on the five-year rolling averages on unchanged configuration basis using Table 6.5 of ‘Digest of UK Energy Statistics’ – latest figures as per July 2019 release