Anglesey County Council voted to grant planning permission for the repowering of Rhyd y Groes Wind Farm, near Cemaes, Anglesey, at a meeting of the Planning and Orders Committee held at the Council Chamber, Llangefni.
The application was submitted on behalf of TPG Wind Ltd, and prepared by Aberystwyth based Natural Power Consultants in April 2015, and was initially for 13 turbines. Following consultation with the relevant authorities, local communities and the general public, two turbines were removed from the scheme, and three turbines reduced in height. This left an 11 turbine scheme that was deemed acceptable by the planners and statutory bodies including Cadw, Natural Resources Wales, Ministry of Defence and also supported by the community.
John Woodruff, Planning & Development Principal Consultant at Natural Power, said: "It is great that we are able to maintain our 100% success rate for consent on our Welsh projects. Our relationships with clients and stakeholders are key to this, and we are proud of being part of this success story. It is also particularly nice to see this repowering consent as the application for the original Rhyd y Groes Wind Farm was consented by Natural Power's present managing director, Ted Leeming, in the early 1990s."
The wind turbines will be situated within the same area as the existing Rhyd y Groes Wind Farm which will be decommissioned as part of the consent for the repowering. The site will feature six turbines with a maximum vertical tip height up to 79 m, three turbines up to 70 m and two turbines up to 66 m above ground level, and could generate up to 9.9 MW of renewable electricity.
The application benefited from a great deal of support from the community with the local community councils of Amwlch, Llanbdarig and Llaneilian being fully supportive of the scheme.
A sum of £4,000 per MW will be made available to the local area in the form of community benefits once the site becomes operational. Based on a 9.9 MW scheme this could be £39,600 per annum index linked, equivalent to just under £1 million over the life of the wind farm.
Gary Kruger, TPG Wind Ltd, said: "TPG Wind Ltd would like to thank Natural Power for its continued support throughout the Rhyd Y Groes repowering application. The team worked effectively within a complex project containing many on-site constraints. Throughout the EIA/planning process, Natural Power provided excellent project management and communications that ensured viable solutions both technically and commercially, and they adapted well to the changing positions of stakeholders."