Maesgwyn Windfarm development
Client: Pennant Walters
Value: £Commercial Market
- Clean energy for 18,000 Homes
- Former opencast site
- Extensive Community Benefits
- Extended due to success
Maesgwyn windfarm is located 2-3kms to the northeast of Glynneath in Neath Port Talbot County Borough, on the site of several former opencast mines. The site is located within TAN 8 strategic search area E (SSA E). The site received planning consent in 2008, construction commenced in late 2009 and was completed in mid-2011. Because of the mining history of the site, extensive ground improvement works were required ahead of construction of the wind farm, due to the former opencast sites backfilled materials.
The wind farm comprises 13 Alstom E80 2MW turbines, which are a mix of 70m and 80m hub heights, which are the most suitable for the rugged topographical conditions on the site. The site can produce up to 26MWe, which is the equivalent of the energy required to supply 12,000 homes. Alstom provides an operation and maintenance service and Pennant Walters provide site management and reporting services.
Environmental Impact Assessment
In 2015 after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had been undertaken, Pennant Walters received planning consent from Neath Port Talbot CBC to construct an extension (predominantly to the west of the existing wind farm), adding 4 additional wind turbines, producing up to 12.5MW of electrical energy. The additional capacity would be sufficient to power a further 6,250 homes.
Acces to the new turbines
The turbines are served by the same access as the existing wind farm, from the A4109 Intervalley Road near Onllwyn, with the access tracks on site being extended to suit.
As well as producing clean, renewable energy the finished project contributes to a Community Benefit Fund linked to the amount of energy they generate.
Community Benefit Fund
To date, this fund (available for projects in the Onllwyn and Glynneath wards) has supported 18 projects including the construction of a new skate park, infrastructure, equipment and solar panels for local clubs and sponsorship of local community workers. The funding from this project will, over the lifetime of the wind farm (approximately 23 years remaining), contribute to the transformation of community facilities within the area.