United Kingdom

United Kingdom


Wales is an attractive place for wind farm developers. Manweb and Ecogen are both applying to develop projects. Parts of Wales are strongly anti-nuclear as well as anti-coal both of which make local acceptance much easier to achieve.

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Sales continues to be an attractive area for wind farm developers, with over 100 MW proposed or about to be proposed for sites throughout the country, well over half of them by utility Manweb (see above).

Cornish wind company Ecogen has applied for permission for 25 turbines at Llandrygarn, about five kilometres from the site on Anglesey where Manweb has proposed 95 turbines. Ecogen, which built the island's existing wind farm of Bonus machines at Rhyd y Groes, claims that though its plans have received a mixed reception locally, the majority support the project. "Like everywhere, Anglesey has got its vocal minority," says the company's Tim Kirby. Interestingly, Ecogen has opted for 300 kW machines if the scheme goes ahead rather than larger turbines of 400-500 kW which are more usually preferred these days. "We found them to be more suited to the site for a variety of reasons," he explains. These include acoustics, visual impact and the amount of capacity that can be fitted into the space available. Planners with Anglesey's Ynys Mon Borough Council are also considering other projects, including an application submitted in March by a private landowner for 16 turbines at Mynachdy, near Llansairynghornwy as well as a request to build a single turbine by a landowner at Ty Mawr, Llangwyllog.

In south Wales a scheme for 59 turbines at Mynydd Maen in Gwent has been scaled down to 45 machines after the original plans generated heated opposition. According to Ross Murray of Newport-based Newbridge Construction the company reduced the size of its project after lengthy public consultation. "What we now have is a compromise that we hope will be acceptable to all parties," he says. He maintains that the high level of opposition the project generated was not unexpected. Even local MP, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, was part of the early wave of protest. "South east Wales is a very vocal part of the country and opposition to any new development is par for the course," says Murray. He claims the 22.5 MW scheme has the support of Gwent county council and says a favourable decision would be consistent with the green credentials of the local planning authority, Islwyn borough council, which is violently anti-nuclear as well as anti-coal.

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