Block mountains

Cambrian Mountains Lluest y Gwynt wind farm mast test plans approved

PLANS for a temporary test mast have been approved, potentially paving the way for the construction of a controversial wind farm near the Cambrian Mountains.

In connection with the Lluest y Gwynt wind farm project, the installation and operation of a temporary weather test mast for a period of three years to measure wind speed and direction has been approved by the planners of the Ceredigion County Council.

It allows the installation of a single galvanized steel mast with guy wires and anchor blocks, and supports the solar panel for field power supply at Yr Ochrydd west of Eisteddfa Gurig and east of the Blaen Peithnant forest block.

The proposed wind farm of up to 13 turbines with a peak height of 180m and the capacity to generate 54MW is near the highest point in the Cambrian Mountains – Pumlumon – and close to the village of Ponterwyd between Llanidloes and Aberystwyth.

The company behind the plan, which is considered a development of national significance and will be decided by the Welsh Government’s Planning Inspectorate if submitted, is one of Europe’s largest renewable energy producers .

The Norwegian state-owned company operates renewable energy sites around the world, including a number of wind and solar farms in the UK.

In Ceredigion, it owns and operates the Rheidol Hydroelectric Power Station and the Rheidol Visitor Center.

The temporary mast to measure wind speed at the site will be 81.5m with metrological instruments at different heights and will include bird markers to be attached to guy wires to protect wildlife.

“The proposed weather masts will measure wind speed and direction at a height comparable to the planned hub height of wind turbines, should a project proceed to the development planning stage,” a design and access statement reads.

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There have been a number of objections to the mast proposal, including from trustees of the Cambrian Mountains Society, Open Spaces Society and Ramblers Cymru, as well as concerns about the impact on areas protected areas and the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

There was also opposition when plans for the wind farm were first unveiled in 2020.