Posted: Thu 26th May 2022

Awel y Môr: Plans for a new wind farm off North Wales pass key milestone

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Plans for a new wind farm off the North Wales coast have moved ahead to the next phase. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Awel y Môr, an extension to the existing Gwynt y Mor could provide power for up to 500,000 homes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The project passed now key milestone after proposals were submitted to, and accepted for consideration by the UK Planning Inspectorate. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The project, which is being developed by German-owned energy company RWE Renewables on behalf of the project’s partners, now moves into the ‘pre-examination’ phase of the consenting process before a public examination, expected to begin in September 2022. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The project includes up to 50 turbines with a maximum tip height of 332m and is as a sister project to Gwynt y Môr. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

If approved, the Awel y Môr offshore wind farm could be built approximately 10.5km (6.5 miles) off the coast of north Wales, to the west of the existing Gwynt y Môr wind farm, with its grid connection planned to reach the shoreline between Rhyl and Prestatyn. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The final decision on consent will rest with the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with a decision anticipated in 2023. As the project lies in Welsh waters, a Marine License is also required from Welsh Government through Natural Resources Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Tamsyn Rowe, Project Manager for Awel y Môr, said: “This is a significant milestone for the development of this nationally significant project, which will help meet the targets in the recently published UK energy security strategy.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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“The application is made up of hundreds of pages of detailed reports and is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by the project team.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If approved, this project will also continue RWE’s long-term role as the largest provider of renewable energy in Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This includes projects like Gwynt y Môr and Clocaenog, and the apprenticeship scheme at Coleg Llandrillo, which will develop Wales’ skills and capabilities in the sector for many years to come.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Concerns were raised that plans to create a large new wind farm off the coast of North Wales could have a negative impact on tourism and traffic. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Although the site is over 20km from Flintshire, the local authority had expressed fears that the visual impact could put tourists off visiting the wider region. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The maximum turbine height outlined stands at 332m, which Flintshire Council officers believe could spoil the views from Snowdonia and other beauty spots. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

With Port of Mostyn is currently used as a service base for Gwynt y Môr, officials questioned the impact on traffic in the county in a letter submitted in response to the consultation last year. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

RWE significantly reduced the number of turbines to address visual impact concerns raised during the public consultation last autumn. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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