Gwynt Y Mor Wind Farm Gets DECC Approval

by A C Breeze
(North Wales)

Gwynt Y Mor, the NPower Renewables wind farm project off the east coast of Anglesey and 10 miles north of Llandudno, has been approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

As the second largest offshore wind farm project in the world, Gwynt y Mor will be a mega 750 MW green electricity generator consisting of 250 wind turbines.

To put this potential energy source into context, Wylfa Nuclear Power Station on nearby Anglesey has two reactors which provide 980 MW, and so Gwynt Y Mor will have around three quarters the power of Wylfa.

We should, of course, bear in mind that while this wind farm project approaches Wylfa in terms of power capacity, the wind turbines will be susceptible to wind conditions, a problem called intermediation.

There is also the fact that while Wylfa is a baseload supplier of electricity, wind turbines meet only the peak demands, in much the same way as hydroelectric power, as with the nearby Llanberis power station.

Gwynt y Mor has been a very controversial proposal and DECC has taken into account the work done by NPower Renewables to reduce the visual impact as well as its distance offshore.

Approval of the development has been enthusiastically received by the British Wind Energy Association as a landmark project for the UK. It has the capacity to power up to 680,000 homes.

Following the UK government decision to set challenging goals for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, this project represents a signifcant step in achieving that outcome.

With this latest approval the UK has a total of 4.5 GW of offshore wind farm projects with planning permission.

So if you walk along the Anglesey Coastal Path between Point Lynas in the north east and Penmon in the east, you will soon see this project rising from the sea along the horizon in the direction of Liverpool Bay.

The North Wales coast and Liverpool Bay are already becoming a mega renewable energy zone with wind turbines operating at North Hoyle (NPower renewables, thirty 2MW wind turbines), Burbo Bank (Dong Energy has twenty five 90 MW wind turbines).

Meanwhile, Npower renewables has another project at Rhyl Flats, developed by Celtic Offshore Wind Limited, which when completed could provide up to 90 MW, estimated to be enough to power up to 60,000 homes.

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