Wales wind farm
Image credit: Lisa Baker - Unsplash

EDF Renewables has revealed plans to develop a wind farm called Garn Fach, south of Newtown, Powys, Wales, in partnership with 14 local farming families.

The project is likely to consist of up to 22 turbines, each producing around 5MW. That’s 110MW capable of generating enough low carbon electricity for the domestic needs of 66,000 households.

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Ahead of submitting a planning application for the wind farm at the end of 2020, EDF Renewables has been carrying out ecological and other feasibility surveys.  The utility is submitting an environmental scoping report to the Welsh Government and an application to Powys County Council to erect a met mast on-site to gather accurate wind speed data. 

EDF Renewables is committed to an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per MW, which could be around £550,000 (depending on the final capacity of the project) per year available for local causes, or £16.5 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project.  The wind farm will also have the potential for local ownership, with opportunities for local people and organisations to invest and have a stake in the project. 

This proposed investment from EDF Renewables comes at a time of growing concern about climate change which has prompted both the UK and Welsh Governments to embrace tougher targets for carbon emissions reduction by 2050. The Welsh Government has a target for Wales to be generating 70% of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030.  To achieve this, more electricity will need to be generated from renewable and low carbon sources.  

Onshore wind is now one of the cheapest ways of generating renewable or low carbon energy, and Garn Fach will be developed without the need for public subsidy.  

Mark Vyvyan- Robinson, Director of Development and Investments at EDF R, said: “Garn Fach would make a positive contribution to our efforts to tackle climate change, as well as delivering benefits to the community.  We are pleased to be developing Garn Fach in partnership with 14 local farming families and hope that the wind farm will be seen as an asset in the community in our fight to tackle climate change.”

Public Information Days are being held by the EDF R project team in communities near the proposed wind farm site for local people to gain a better understanding of the proposals and provide initial feedback.  Interactive 3D visual software modelling will be available at the exhibition to enable residents to see the effects of the proposed development from different angles and viewpoints.

The planning application for the wind farm will be assessed by the independent planning inspectorate, with a final decision being taken by the Welsh Government.

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