Exploring the potential for renewable energy
RWE is looking at the opportunity to develop an extension to the existing Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. Being a sister project to Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, this project has been named Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.
Extensions to operational wind farms have proven to be a successful way of efficiently developing more offshore generating capacity. Nationally, offshore wind is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s cheapest sources of energy, driving reductions in energy system costs to consumers. As one of the cleanest forms of energy generation, offshore wind has a central role to play in reducing carbon emissions and meeting the UK’s climate target to be carbon zero by 2050.
In February 2017, The Crown Estate launched an opportunity for existing wind farms to apply for project extensions. This opportunity closed in May 2018, with eight project applications received UK-wide. Since then, The Crown Estate has undertaken a plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) to assess the possible impact of the proposed windfarm extensions on relevant nature conservation sites of European importance. Throughout the assessment process, The Crown Estate was supported by expert independent advisors, and consulted with the statutory marine planning authorities, the statutory nature conservation bodies and a number of non-governmental stakeholders. In August 2019, The Crown Estate announced the conclusion of the HRA, confirming that seven of the eight extension application projects, representing a total generating capacity of 2.85GW, would progress to the award of development rights. This included the Gwynt y Môr Wind Farm Extension. We are now in the early stages of the consent and development work.
It is currently too early to know the details of the wind farm, such as the size or number of turbines. This will be determined through studies of the area and by consultation with the public and regulators. At this stage, we know the area we can explore, which has been decided by The Crown Estate and is to the west of the existing wind farm. Over the next couple of years, the project team will conduct a detailed onshore and offshore design process – inviting the public and other stakeholders to participate at the appropriate times.