The Awel y Môr offshore wind farm, which could provide power for up to 500,000 homes, has passed a key milestone after proposals were submitted to and accepted for consideration by the U.K. Planning Inspectorate.
The project, which is being developed by RWE Renewables on behalf of the project’s partners, now moves into the ‘pre-examination’ phase of the consenting process before a public examination, expected to begin in September 2022.
The project includes up to 50 turbines with a maximum tip height of 332 meters and is as a sister project to Gwynt y Môr. If approved, the Awel y Môr offshore wind farm could be built approximately 6.5 miles off the coast of north Wales, to the west of the existing Gwynt y Môr wind farm, with its grid connection planned to reach the shoreline between Rhyl and Prestatyn.
The final decision on consent will rest with the U.K. Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with a decision anticipated in 2023. As the project lies in Welsh waters, a marine license is also required from Welsh government through Natural Resources Wales.
“This is a significant milestone for the development of this nationally significant project, which will help meet the targets in the recently published U.K. energy security strategy,” says Tamsyn Rowe, project manager for Awel y Môr. “The application is made up of hundreds of pages of detailed reports and is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by the project team.”
“If approved, this project will also continue RWE’s long-term role as the largest provider of renewable energy in Wales,” Rowe continues. “This includes projects like Gwynt y Môr and Clocaenog, and the apprenticeship scheme at Coleg Llandrillo, which will develop Wales’ skills and capabilities in the sector for many years to come.”
RWE is developing Awel y Môr with project partners Stadtwerke München (30%) and Siemens Financial Services (10%).