After a competitive bidding process, we can reveal that Innogy Renewables UK Ltd has been awarded an option to survey land in Alwen Forest, near Ruthin, prior to making a planning application to develop an onshore windfarm on the site.
The Alwen Project will be based on land leased to Welsh Government by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) and is managed on WG’s behalf by NRW. Should a planning application be made, NRW will act in an advisory capacity during the determination process.
Derek Stephen, Commercial Business Development Manager for NRW’s Energy Delivery Programme said:
“The environment is our most valuable natural asset and sustainable initiatives like this that offer creative solutions to energy problems puts NRW at the forefront of Welsh Government’s low carbon economy, climate change and green growth programmes.”
Marketing of the project was carried out by NRW and saw seven companies bid for the lease. All seven proposals centred on the development of a wind farm.
Other technologies considered by developers included battery storage, solar, biomass and hydro and several bidders included battery storage in their proposals to varying degrees, but these were peripheral to the wind farm proposal.
As well as the technological and financial aspects, Innogy’s bid featured a strong community element thanks to their collaboration with Community Energy Wales focusing on community shared ownership of the project.
Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government said,
“We are committed to reducing greenhouse emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Renewable energy developments, like the Alwen project, are key to creating a green economy and helping us meet our energy goal.
“I’m pleased the successful bid has a strong community benefit which will enable local people to buy into the scheme. This approach will ensure that money generated from the scheme will stay in the local community.”
Mike Pedley, Head of Energy for DCWW said:
“Welsh Water is committed to exploring opportunities and partnerships that will help deliver sustainable energy solutions for future generations.
“As a company operating on behalf of our customers, we are reassured that the successful bid gives the local community opportunities to be involved in the project and play a key part in safeguarding the environment around us"