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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 11:48 GMT
Offshore wind farm revolution bid
Wind turbine
The Rhyl Flats project consists of 30 wind turbines
A revolutionary offshore wind farm project to provide electricity to 100,000 homes in north Wales has moved a step closer.

The proposed facility, which will cost up to 150m, would be built 10km off the shore of Abergele, near Colwyn Bay.

The plan by Celtic Offshore Wind Limited (Cowl) consists of 30 wind turbines at Rhyl Flats, seven miles out at sea from Abergele.

Wind turbine
Wind turbines have become more popular

The wind farm would produce enough power to meet the domestic needs of more than 105,000 households - 75% of all the domestic needs of Conwy, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

Cowl submitted their plans to the UK and Welsh Assembly governments for approval on Tuesday.

If given the go ahead, developers will begin work on the site in April 2004 and should be finished within five months.

Another project proposed by National Wind Power involves 30 turbines at North Hoyle, five miles out from Prestatyn.

Renewable energy

And a third separate off-shore windfarm is planned for Scarweather Sands, off Port Talbot, south Wales.

UK energy minister Brian Wilson has publicly supported wind power development in Wales.

By 2010 the UK Government hopes to have at least 10% of its electricity produced by renewable energy.

National Wind Power claims 6,000 customers in north Wales have signed up to receive their "green" energy from Hoyle through its Juice scheme.

The firm hopes the Hoyle plan could be up and running by the winter of 2003 and eventually supply 50,000 customers.

The rival Rhyl Flats development would mean a significant investment in north Wales for local business consortium Cowl.

The group consists of First Hydro Renewables and the Renewable Development Company.

First Hydro director Charles Williams said the scheme could mean extra employment in the region.

"The Cowl consortium has a policy wherever possible to procure the services and skills of local organisations and contractors," he said.

On land, windfarms have faced stiff opposition in the past from critics concerned about their visual impact.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  BBC Wales's Roger Pinney
"Developers hope to overcome the visual impact problems with land wind farms"

More from north east Wales
See also:

10 Jul 01 | Wales
07 Dec 00 | Science/Nature
10 Dec 01 | Wales
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