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Welsh renewable energy developer launches consultation on Energy Park plans

WELSH renewable energy developer Bute Energy has announced plans for the Moel Chwa Energy Park, which could generate enough clean, green energy to power the equivalent of nearly 52,000 homes.

The project responds to the Climate Emergency and will help local communities live modern electric lives, while supporting the Welsh Government’s target for electricity to be 100% renewable by 2035.

Located near Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, in Conwy, the proposed Moel Chwa Energy Park includes 12 turbines up to a maximum tip height of 200m. 

Once operational, the Energy Park could generate approximately 79.2MW of renewable electricity and will connect to the National Grid at a new substation near Gwyddelwern, approximately 7km from the Energy Park. The connection will be via an overhead line on wood poles.

Bute Energy are committed to working with and supporting communities where they develop their projects. As part of the Moel Chwa Energy Park project, a Community Benefit Fund will be established which is currently anticipated to deliver around £590,000 worth of investment per year locally.

In addition to the fund, Bute Energy is committed to ensuring as much investment stays as local as possible.  The company’s Community Benefit team is focused on creating pathways for local people to gain employment, ensuring best practice access to our energy parks and working with local schools and community facilities to help reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

An initial round of public consultation will run until Sunday 11 June 2023, with public drop-in sessions to allow people to view information and have their say. Information will be shared with those living near the project, along the grid connection route, and with businesses and other organisations.

In this first round of consultation, Bute Energy would like to hear the local community’s view on their initial proposals. Bute Energy’s Community Benefit team will be attending the events, focused on identifying local groups and services to engage with now to understand the needs and aspirations of the communities and how the investment can deliver the maximum benefit for the local area.

John Reilly, Project Manager at Bute Energy said: “As a nation we’re in a Climate Emergency, and a cost-of-living crisis. Our supply of energy is threatened by world events. Yet there is endless potential for renewable energy in Wales – particularly from the wind that blows across our hills and mountains. Bute Energy is taking action now to help deliver clean, green energy to our homes and businesses, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and supporting the Welsh Government’s target for electricity to be 100% renewable by 2035.

“We want to hear the views of local people on our plans, so we can take them into account as we develop the project. And we want to hear from local people how we can help support projects and tackle issues in communities around the site – so we can deliver real benefits to local people.”

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Following this round of public consultation, all feedback received will be carefully considered, along with reports from environmental and technical surveys, ahead of further public consultation.  

You can find out more, and get your questions answered at one of the public drop-in sessions: 

  • Wednesday 10th May 2023, 2pm – 8pm, Cerrigydrudion Parish Room, Cerrigydrudion, Conwy, LL21 9SR,
  • Thursday 11th May 2023, 11am – 5pm, Rhug Conference Room, Rhug Estate, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0EH,
  • Tuesday 16th May 2023, 2pm – 8pm, Melin y Wig Village Hall, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 9RE

Information can also be viewed, and feedback given, on the project website: www.moelchwaenergypark.wales

The proposed Energy Park site sits within a Pre-Assessed Area for large-scale onshore wind energy according to the Welsh Government’s National Development Framework, Future Wales: The National Plan 2040. 

As the proposed Moel Chwa Energy Park will generate more than 10MW of energy, it is classed as a Development of National Significance. This means that Bute Energy will apply to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW), which will make a recommendation to Welsh Ministers, on whether or not to grant planning permission. 

Bute Energy currently expects to submit a planning application to PEDW in 2024, after thorough public engagement.