Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wind Turbines through Montgomery

Haven't done much on wind turbines in Mid Wales for a while. This long post compensates. I'd like it to stimulate a debate, though the moment may well have passed. Last Monday evening, I joined around a hundred others at Montgomery Town Hall to hear a presentation by RES Ltd of its proposals to transport turbines for its Garreg Llwyd site through the town's narrow streets. In general, it was a good discussion. RES project manager, Simon Peltenburg, remained cool and calm, under heavy questioning, for the best part of two hours. I felt that the audience was almost wholly opposed - but there was some confusion about what it was precisely opposed to.

The purpose of the meeting was to consider the impact of very long lorries passing through the streets of Montgomery. And it was taking place just before a Town Council meeting where the proposals were to be considered. There were questions relating to threats to buildings and disturbance to traffic movement in Montgomery. Simon was able to deal with these reasonably enough - though not entirely to everyone's satisfaction. There were questions about disturbance to country roads elsewhere along the proposed route, particularly between Kerry and Dolfor. Simon conceded that this disruption would take place, but that he thought it not sufficient to stop the proposals going ahead. However he did agree to attend another meeting in Kerry. There were several contributions challenging the whole principle of building onshore wind farms in Mid Wales at all. I went only to listen, but if I had participated, this is the category into which I would have fallen.

While I was away on a three night holiday this week, Montgomery Town Council met and voted to support the RES proposal. This came as a great surprise to me. Also surprising was that no member of the public attended the Council Meeting to listen to the deliberations. Of course, the Town Council is no more than a consultee on the RES planning application, but the vote may well have an influence on those who do decide it. There are a couple of points worth making. Firstly, the idea raised by several at the meeting that a condition could be attached to the permission, ensuring that no other turbines are transported along the same path is not really a goer - except as part of some overall transport plan. Each planning application has to be decided on its own merits. And secondly, there is no reason why the agreed meeting at Kerry should not go ahead. There is probably more disturbance in the Kerry/Dolfor area than in Montgomery.

I did learn something at the meeting though. I had assumed that just two new wind farms could be built in Montgomeryshire before 2016 - the re-powering at Llandinam by Celtpower, and the Tir Gwynt Wind Farm near Carno by 18 local farmers. This is because there is no more capacity to carry power out of the area until a 400kv line is built. But I'd not realised that a wind farm in Radnorshire, exporting its power southwards would want to bring turbines through Montgomeryshire. I'll need to check whether any more fall into the same category. Tell me if you know.

7 comments:

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

The real elephant in the room is not the turbines or their transportation - but the enormous 400kV pylons that are about to straddle Montgomeryshire. Do you have any update for us on this Glyn?

chdtra - composite being said...

Talking of wind - windy gusts of 40 mph have rolled into the Washington metro area - so what you might say, well, Washington DC is facing turbulent times, and these gusts confirm turbulent times for the White House and the world - and Wales can't escape. "As it happens", Tchoah is scheduled to drive like a gnat right through Washington, DC - from Arlington to Greenbelt rocketed side to side by the Washington DC area wind.

Like a zenith, the National Monument rises up from its base/nadir into the windy sky - just a few hundred yards away sits the White House - in a sleepy hollow; and at the top of the National Monument sits a gleaming prism sapphire - when its light shines in all directions the world is whole, when its light shines in one tubular direction the world is at an end, and where its tubular light points is the source of that end. I'm only the messenger, take heed of this message.

When light erupts from the George Washington National Masonic Temple in Alexandria (its tower visible from Tcoah’s balcony) and is refracted through that sapphire atop the National Monument - the world will surely tremble and the hidden leaders of the world will reveal themselves. Dark times will reign for x number of days. The mark on the beast - will tear knowledge from man's mind. Man will become as the beast. Military weapons will speak, and great carnage will follow.

In other news...

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

What?

frankie said...

Perhaps chdtra could explain what on earth his rant has to do with Montgomeryshire windfarms???

Anonymous said...

Glyn,
If this strategy of putting windfarms along the skyline of just about every valley in mid-Wales is unstoppable, what thought has gone into getting the energy out and distributed. Roman Jones is right about the elephant. However, given that we have only received £7.5m for tarting up Welshpool, Newtown and Llanidloes (from an overall budget of £1.5bn), what chance have we got to show this elephant to the Welsh Assembly.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the 400kv pylons are at least 10 years away. This information is from experience gained working for Scottish and Southern Electric. It is understandable that the Pylons are not welcome in Mid Wales. Why not restrict the building of wind farms to those companies that have gained grid connections already in the area?

Glyn Davies said...

All - the position on the 400 kv cable is still not known. Announceements about the line are taking longer than expected. National Grid are commissioned to deliver the line by end of 2015, but that's if all goes according to plan. In Montgomeryshire there are only two proposals that can go ahead beforehand - Tir Gwynt at Carno, and the Celtpower repowering at Llandinam. Though from a transport perspective, turbines for wind farms in Radnorshire could go ahead because they would export the power Westwards to a different point in the Grid.