81m metrological wind testing mast approved next to proposed wind farm

A TEMPORARY testing mast has been approved linked to proposals for a controversial wind farm proposed near the Cambrian Mountains and close to Ceredigion’s border with Powys.

Linked to the Lluest y Gwynt wind farm project the installation and operation of a temporary meteorological testing mast for a period of three years to measure wind speed and wind direction has been approved by Ceredigion County Council planners.

It allows for the installation of a single galvanised steel mast with guy wires and anchor blocks, and support solar array for the power supply on land at Yr Ochrydd to the west of Eisteddfa Gurig and east of Blaen Peithnant forestry block.

The proposed wind farm of up to 13 turbines with a tip hight of 180m and the capacity to generate 54MW is near the highest point of the Cambrian Mountains – Pumlumon – and close to the village of Ponterwyd.

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 generators.

The Norwegian state-owned business 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 hydropower plant and Rheidol visitor centre.

The temporary mast to measure wind speeds at the site will measure 81.5m with metrological instruments at varying heights and includes bird markers to attach to guy lines to protect wildlife.

“The  proposed  met  masts  will  measure  the  wind  speed  and  direction  at  a  height  comparable  with  the  anticipated  hub  height  of  the  wind  turbines,  should  a  scheme  proceed to the development planning stage,” a design and access statement indicates.

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

There was also opposition when plans for the wind farm first came to light in 2020.

Katy Jenkins - Local Democracy Reporter

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