Energy company RWE Npower Renewables has been granted planning permission to ‘re-power’ its first onshore wind farm in the UK, reducing the number of turbines to a third while almost doubling its energy output.
Taff Ely Wind Farm is one of RWE Npower Renewables’ (RWE NRL) oldest wind farms and has been operating since 1993.
The successful application is for seven 110 meter turbines to replace the existing 20 turbines erected in 1993 in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
RWE NRL acquired the operating wind farm in 1998 and will repower the site, replacing the old wind farm with a new one consisting of larger, more effective turbines and almost doubling its energy generation.
The new wind farm will have an installed capacity of up to 17.5MW, which will provide an average annual energy production equivalent to 9,700 average UK homes.
RWE NRL has also pledged an increased community benefit fund. Depending on the final installed capacity of the site, this could see index linked annual payments of up to £87,500 invested into local communities over the operational lifetime of the wind farm, expected to be up to 25 years.
The company has already hosted a local supply chain event at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea in May 2012, to around 200 local delegates, and says it will look to build on this relationship with further development related events in the coming months.
Rob Kerr-Bonner, developer at RWE npower renewables said: “Achieving planning permission at local authority level is always welcome. We were heartened by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s endorsement of our approach to developing this project and their ongoing commitment to renewable energy generation in the region.
“The de-commissioning of the existing 20 wind turbines which were installed in 1993 will mark an end of an era, however today’s modern wind turbines have moved on significantly from those currently installed. The new wind turbines are much more efficient and reliable.