Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 14:25 UK

450ft wind turbines plan unveiled

A wind farm (library picture)
There are already over 500 wind turbines producing energy in Wales

Plans to build what are thought to be the UK's tallest wind turbines yet have been unveiled.

Npower renewables proposes placing 65 turbines on nearly 5,000 acres (2,000ha) of hillside near Llanbrynmair in Powys.

Each turbine would stand 137m (449ft) high.

Wind energy consultant Geoffrey Sinclair said that would make them taller than any currently on mainland UK.

As part of the project npower plans to fund a major habitat restoration project in the area.

The turbines at Carnedd Wen will have the capacity to generate between 130 and 195 megawatts and, potentially, supply the electricity needs of between 63,000 and 94,500 homes annually.

But Mr Sinclair said the 65 turbines would be seen from nearby Snowdonia National Park and from the summit of Cadair Idris.

The turbines planned for this site are substantially bigger than any currently on mainland UK sites
Wind energy consultant Geoffrey Sinclair

Mr Sinclair, from near Narberth, Pembrokeshire, added: "It would be churlish not to welcome the habitat project, but it is ironic we have to have a wind farm to have the benefit of that.

"The turbines planned for this site are substantially bigger than any currently on mainland UK sites. They are similar in size to those that are being built off-shore.

"If built, they will be visible from Snowdonia National Park, which is nearby, and from Cadair Idris.

"It will create an extensive wind farm landscape in that area."

In May, plans to redevelop a site in Llandinam, Powys, for 42, 122m (400ft) machines were unveiled.

At the time, Mr Sinclair said it was the tallest of its type in Wales, but the latest scheme in Llanbrynmair, near Machynlleth, appears to dwarf it.

"Benefits"

Project manager, Jacob Hain, said the scheme had the potential to "greatly contribute to the growing need for renewable energy", while at the same time securing the future of the bird population and preventing further "deterioration of the peat lands".

"npower renewables is proud to be pioneering the first habitat restoration proposal of this size in Wales in conjunction with the wind farm, and believes the scheme presents significant benefits for both the local and global environment," added Mr Hain.

"The Welsh Assembly Government has produced challenging targets for increasing the amount of electricity produced from renewable sources."

He said onshore wind farms such as Carnedd Wen were vital "if we are to realise" Welsh Assembly Government targets.

The Welsh Assembly Government expects 10% of electricity generated to come from renewable sources by 2010.

In August, Powys council voiced concern about large-scale wind farm developments.

It feared the county's "inadequate" road network would be unable to stand the rigours of transporting huge turbines to the hilltops.

Currently, there are 26 wind farms in Wales with 482 on-shore turbines and 30 off-shore.


SEE ALSO
Poor roads delay wind farm plans
08 Aug 08 |  Mid Wales
'Tallest' wind farm plan unveiled
09 May 08 |  Mid Wales
Government to decide on wind farm
28 Mar 08 |  South Yorkshire
Wind turbines could double height
15 Feb 08 |  Cornwall

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