At ScottishPower, we’re committed to always making improvements and to listening to the public while we do it. So, when the National Grid recently announced the location for the substation to support the proposed wind farm developments in Mid Wales, we were eager to consult and outline plans for our initial Mid Wales wind farm connections scheme.
As part of our promise to be the UK leader in renewable energy, our new £60m scheme will connect wind farms in Mid Wales to the National Grid network. Discussing it in September 2012, and announcing further public information days for later in the year, Steve Edwards, Project Manager at SP Energy Networks, said:
“Following the National Grid’s announcement regarding the location of their hub substation, it became possible to outline our plans for the initial wind farm connections in Mid Wales. We have always placed significant importance and commitment on discussing our plans with the local communities, and we have already carried out three public information days. During our initial consultations last year we received more than 2,000 responses from members of the public. We have used this feedback to incorporate a number of points in to our plans, and we look forward to engaging further with members of the public.”
Size and Scale
Public consultation is not a PR exercise for us. Below you can see the many changes we’ve made to the plan thanks to the feedback. The proposals now include:
- Minimising line lengths to 50km from a potential 85km project
- Up to 80% of the connection is to be built using wood pole lines approximately 14m in height (initial proposals were for metal towers 27m in height)
- Although SP Energy Networks don’t recognise a need for a wholly underground project, the company will weigh up environmental impacts against the costs of undergrounding specific sections at the next, more detailed stage of consultation.
Thanks to the feedback we’ve received, we will now link the new network to the existing local electricity network. This means power generated by the proposed wind farms will now be distributed to local homes and businesses. Furthermore, linking the existing network to the new one will also increase the security of electricity supplies in the area. We’re grateful to everyone who contributed to helping us use our power to change things for the better.