New Nuclear Build On Energy Island A Step Closer
by Anglesey Today
New nuclear build is a step closer at Wylfa on Anglesey, the energy island, with Npower securing an option to buy land adjacent to the existing nucler power station outside Cemaes for up to three new reactors.
A key component in the overall scheme would be the increase in grid capacity in Wales, enough to provide light and heat for up to 5 million homes from 2017, and RWE Npower has secured connections that would distribute 3.6 GW into the national grid.
The exisiting nuclear power plant at Wylfa, which provides around 40 per cent of electricity consumed in Wales, is due to close down in late 2010, and a number of power generators have shown interest in building a new nuclear plant at Wylfa.
Wylfa also has a contract to supply electricity to the local Anglesey Aluminium Metal smelter at nearby Holyhead.
Earlier this year the UK Government, mindful of the need to address the looming energy gap and a low carbon source for electricity, gave power companies the green light to come forward with proposals for new nuclear build.
Npower is a subsidiary of German energy giant RWE and is very focused on entering the market to build nuclear stations for electricity generation.
Chief Executive of Npower, Andrew Duff, emphasised the need to address the growing energy gap creatd by the retirement of old coal and nuclear power stations.
Mr Duff also highlighted the potential of Anglesey as a new nuclear build location given it has over 35 years of experience in nuclear generation.
The high skills base is already in place at the existing Wylfa plant, and most of these people could take up the new posts that would be created, and there could be well over 1,000 construction jobs created in the early development phase.
Looking further afield, the North Wales region could potentially benefit from the supply-chain effect of construction of up to three nuclear reactors at Wylfa.
Local MP Albert Owen welcomes this very positive development, pointing to the many benefits to the island's economy as well as to the UK's low carbon energy security going forward.
And just to show how keen RWE is to get into the UK energy market, its other subsidiary Npower Renewables has just recently received permission to build a 750-megawatt wind farm called Gwynt-y-Mor, 10 miles off the east coast of Anglesey and about 8 miles north of Llandudno, likely to be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.
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