Today, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon omas visited the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project.
The project, which is run by Vattenfall and is located in the Cynon Valley, is a 76 turbine development which will be completed by early 2017.
The Plaid Cymru AM was excited at what he had seen:
“The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project is another great example of what can be achieved through renewable energy.
“Once operational the project will generate enough electricity to meet the domestic need of 140,000 homes per annum.
“Through the construction phase, this project has created over 600 jobs across Wales as well as 12 apprenticeships.
“But what makes this project so exciting, is that it’s producing vast opportunities for local people. As somebody who grew up in the Cynon Valley during the decline of the coal industry in the 80s, I fully understand the issues being faced by local people today. Therefore it’s great to see that energy and jobs will be created in the area once again, albeit a different, cleaner type of Energy.
“The project has ensured that £3 million has been invested in a 1500 hectare habitat scheme as well as a creation of a £350,000 Blade mountain bike trail.”
The project has also seen the establishment of the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund. This fund will be the largest wind energy community fund in the UK, making available around £1.8 million annually to support local community priorities for the operating life of the wind farm of around 20 years.
The Plaid Cymru Spokesperson on Energy Simon Thomas AC is confident that the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project will lead the way for the rest of the UK in renewable energy:
“After meeting the leaders of the Pen y Cymoedd Project and listening to their vision for Wales over the coming decades, I’m very confident that this project will prove to be successful.
“Wales is an energy rich nation. We generate almost twice the electricity we use but too much of that currently relies on burning fossil fuels. We are well placed to take advantage of the global shift towards renewables and enjoy the economic benefits that comes with it – but at the moment we are not realising our potential.
“The Pen y Cymoedd Project proves this potential, and I look forward to working closely with the Project over the coming years.”