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Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group

Array of Hope

30th November 2012

An artist's impression of the Atlantic Array planned for the Bristol Channel

The Atlantic Array

Array of Hope

          The United Kingdom has a legal obligation to produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. In practical terms this means that 30% of its electricity needs to be generated in this manner. As opportunities for hydro-electricity are limited and the exploitation of tidal and wave energy is not yet commercially viable, wind energy would appear to be the only practical way of reaching the required target.

          Yet frequently we see the development of large scale onshore wind farms the subject of some controversy. Hence the way forward is to harness the abundant wind resource around our coast.

          This was the message brought to Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group by Dr Paul Carter and Kim Daye of RWE Renewables when they addressed its recent monthly meeting on the subject of the proposed Atlantic Array.

          Paul told the meeting that the aim was to develop a wind farm with the capacity to generate up to 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy within the Bristol Channel Zone. The wind farm would be located around 14 kilometres (km) from closest point to shore on the North Devon coast, 22.5km from closest point to shore the South Wales coast, 13km from Lundy Island and 26km from Caldy Island. Cable landfall from the turbines would be in North Devon with underground connection to the National Grid.

          Most recent public consultation has now ended. This was their section 42 consultation where they shared their proposals with a wide range of statutory consultees including local authorities, land owners, and other interested parties, inviting their comments on their plans. The Company also ran a further stage of public consultation alongside this in response to public feedback from the formal consultation held between September and November 2011 which revealed that communities wanted a further opportunity to comment on the proposal once the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) became available.

          The EIA had been completed and its findings accepted by such bodies as the Countryside Commission for Wales and Natural England. As a consequence of this the area originally proposed for the wind farm had been significantly reduced. The needs of the marine life (particularly the dolphins) when undertaking the construction and maintenance of the Array have also been factored in.

          It has also been observed that when the Array is fully functioning bottom fishing in that area will not be possible and many forms of marine life will find a safe haven. Many species will be given space for recovery.

          Local linked community benefit would be considerable the aim was to locally source a wide range of goods and services during both the construction phase and ongoing maintenance. It had been estimated that 200 full time employees would be needed for the latter.

          The original date for submission of the planning application for this development had been December 2012, but to ensure full consideration of all the feedback generated by their consultation, the company had now decided to make their submission in spring 2013. If successful, construction would be phased in, with first production not occurring until 2018.

          RWE, said Kim was also currently developing the 575 MW Gwynt y Mor wind farm off the North Wales coast. This will be completed in 2014. When the proposed Atlantic Array is completed, the two projects together will produce more than the equivalent of the whole Welsh annual domestic electricity needs and this would make a major contribution to meeting the UK's 2020 target for clean green energy.

          The Chair thanked the speakers for their highly informative and thoughtful presentation.


Past Articles
26th October 2012The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy
28th September 2012A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project
14th September 2012Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre
29th June 2012The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth
1st June 2012Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader
11th May 2012The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen
23rd March 2012Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer
24th February 2012The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager
2nd December 2011Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme
4th November 2011The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.
30th September 2011How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project
23rd September 2011PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre
5th August 2011The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills
24th June 2011The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre
27th May 2011Electric Cars The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
13th May 2011Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
22nd April 2011Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock
1st April 2011A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock
25th February 2011Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency
14th January 2011The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy
12th November 2010How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming
15th October 2010Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline
10th August 2010The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels
18th June 2010Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth
16th April 2010Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People
12th March 2010Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife
12th February 2010Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot
15th January 2010Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy
4th December 2009Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
13th November 2009Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example
16th October 2009Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines
2nd October 2009A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind
11th September 2009Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire
10th July 2009A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
12th June 2009St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
24th April 2009Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
13th March 2009Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun
13th February 2009Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?
14th November 2008Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG
17th October 2008PSEEG to become a Registered Charity

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