EDF Renewables is starting a pre-application consultation on its plans to develop a wind farm at Garn Fach, south of Newtown, Powys, in partnership with local farming families. The scheme was first announced in January 2020 and since then EDF Renewables has conducted two public consultation exercises as well as site assessments and surveys. This will be the final opportunity for people to have a say on the plan in advance of submission to the Planning Inspectorate and a final decision by Welsh Ministers, and the extended consultation runs from 30th June until 8th September.
Garn Fach Wind Farm is an 85 MW, 17 turbine proposal, which would be capable of generating enough renewable electricity for 69,000 homes* and make a major contribution towards meeting climate change targets. EDF Renewables remains committed to an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per MW which could mean around £425,000 per year (index linked) is available for local causes or £12.75 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project. The company has also outlined its commitment to local ownership and will offer local people and organisations the opportunity to invest and have an up to 10% stake in the project.
Other benefits include enhancing the biodiversity across the site and creating better habitats for flora and fauna. After construction, the on-site wind farm tracks will be used as a cycle route, and new bridleways and footpaths will be created, including a permissive footpath to the scheduled monument, Fowler’s Arm Chair. To encourage visitors and enhance their experience, information boards will be erected, and a small car park is proposed at the southern end of the site to encourage visitors.
As part of its consultation, EDF Renewables is hosting an online exhibition, writing to every household within a 10km radius of site, and meeting local community councils. A community liaison group (CLG) has been meeting to exchange information and discuss what further benefits the wind farm could deliver. The third sector in Powys is represented on the CLG by PAVO, which will be instrumental in advising EDF Renewables on governance structures for the community fund, should the wind farm be approved.
EDF Renewables’ Principal Project Development Manager for Wales, Simon Morgan said: “Garn Fach will make a positive contribution to Wales’s green recovery, helping to meet the Welsh Government’s targets to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030 and be carbon net zero by 2050.
“We are proud to be working in partnership with fourteen local farming families and that the Garn Fach project is offering significant benefits to the community. Our goal is that the wind farm will be seen as part of the community and a symbol of our collective fight to tackle climate change, helping to accelerate to a net zero future where clean energy powers our lives.”
The statutory documents, including the draft Environmental Statement, and consultation materials can be viewed on the website (www.edf-re.uk/our-sites/garn-fach).
EDF Renewables UK (www.edf-re.uk) is part of one of the world’s largest electricity companies with an operating portfolio of 37 renewable energy sites including onshore and offshore wind, providing much needed affordable, low carbon electricity. The company has an expanding portfolio with almost 4 GW of projects in planning and development, including solar PV. In Wales, EDF Renewables has plans for a number of renewable energy projects and is about to construct a solar farm on Anglesey. Currently, EDF Renewables owns and operates two wind farms - Cemmaes near Machynlleth and Llangwyryfon near Aberystwyth.
*35% capacity factor – conservative figure based on measurements from the on-site mast. Average household consumption of 3,772 kWh from Energy consumption in the UK (www.gov.uk)