Hirddywel wind energy project
Hirddywel is a wind farm proposal which is located approximately 6.5km south of Llanidloes, Powys. The site is to the south of an existing wind farm – Llandinam P&L Wind Farm – and is within one of seven Strategic Search Areas (SSAs) designated by the Welsh Government for the development of large scale wind energy projects.
In 2010, Hirddywel Wind Farm was submitted through the planning process for consent. The submission followed a detailed programme of engagement with local communities to develop the best possible wind farm proposal for the site.
A number of changes and developments resulted from this programme of engagement, including:
- a reduction in the number of turbines from 13 to 9 to respond to points raised about the visual/landscape impacts of the proposal, and in particular views from communities
- moving turbines as far east as possible, to increase the distance between the turbines and the closest communities
- feeding comments and ideas into the habitat management proposals for the project
- developing the ideas of the local community for the project’s community benefit package
- working with the Public Rights of Way Officers to potentially improve current routes across the site and provide interpretation boards for local residents and visitors to understand and appreciate the area
What does the project offer?
It is a company and project priority that we ensure that our investment brings appropriate benefit and opportunity to the region’s economy, environment and communities.
As well as contributing to Wales’ targets and aspiration to become self-sufficient in renewable energy, Hirddywel Wind Farm will also provide benefits over the 25 year life of the project to the local area, and some examples of progress already secured are shared here.
To benefit the local environment, plans are currently being developed through the project to maintain and enhance key habitats in the area – particularly blanket bog, mire and heath – as well as increasing habitat linkages on site and beyong, and enhancing the quality of habitats on site for breeding waders.
Vattenfall is committed to working with local communities to develop community benefit proposals for the project. Some ideas that have emerged from our discussions with the communities include:
- supporting the sustainability of local facilities and key amenities
- high speed broadband and more general infrastructure improvement (such as utility service improvements)
- renewable energy for local people and reducing energy bills
This work will continue, subject to the outcome of the planning process.
Supporting the local economy
We are currently working within Wales to establish relationships with potential suppliers, as well as looking at ways we can maximise the value of our investment within the region.
Some examples of our work within Wales and beyond include:
- developing a grant support programme for supply chain companies, to ensure that they have the opportunity to develop the skills and accreditations necessary to work in the renewable energy sector
- hosting briefing sessions for local companies to explain the potential opportunities through our projects
- making commitments to ensuring that we look throughout all our processes for opportunities to maximise the value of our investment to the local economy
- looking to secure that the manufacture of as many turbine components as possible in Wales and the UK.
We are committed to continuing our work within the region and Wales to ensure that the potential project benefits are realised.