Plans to build the largest wind farm in Wales have been unveiled by Npower Renewables, the British renewable energy arm of German utility RWE. Up to 65 turbines with a combined capacity of between 130 MW and 195 MW are proposed at Llanbrynmair Forest in Powys. The wind farm, known as Carnedd Wen, would be within one of the strategic search areas for wind development identified by the Welsh Assembly government. A key element of the plans is a habitat restoration project to clear most of the trees at the site and restore the land to blanket mire and dwarf shrub heath -- a favoured habitat of the black grouse, one of the most rapidly declining birds in the UK. The restored peat lands will also provide a breeding habitat suitable for the hen harrier, one of Britain's most intensively persecuted birds. Demonstrating that important raptor species can co-exist with wind turbines will be a step forward for the industry, says Npower renewables. Managing director Paul Cowling says the project is unique. "We are proud to be pioneering the first habitat restoration scheme of this size in Wales in conjunction with the wind farm proposal," he adds.
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