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