RWE Unveils Plans for Gwynt y Môr Windfarm (UK)

RWE Unveils Plans for Gwynt y Môr Windfarm (UK)

A 40-tonne underwater plough will be used to lay electricity cables from the coast to an offshore windfarm.

The cables will stretch from the shore at Pensarn near Abergele 13kms to the 160 planned turbines at Gwynt y Môr windfarm.

At Towyn Road between Pensarn and Belgrano, four cables will be extended 11kms underground to a sub station under construction at St Asaph and so to the grid.

Yesterday a steady trickle of residents attended an open day run by developer RWE npower renewables in Dewi Sant Community Centre in Pensarn to find out more. Chris Ensom, of Global Marine Systems Energy, said the plough will start on the beach and be pulled with a winch out to sea, laying cables as it goes.

He said: “The cables will be fed along the plough, and a plough share, to a depth of 2.5 metres into the sea bed, covering the ground as it goes. The reason it is to that depth is to avoid trawlers’ anchors.”

Meanwhile the onshore cables, not the offshore ones, are being built and laid by Wrexham company Prysmian Group. Huw Rees, of RWE renewables onshore cabling manager, is in charge of laying cables mainly under fields on a route beside Ysbyty Glan Clwyd to St Asaph. He said: “Laying the cables onshore was daunting at the beginning but 90% of the trenches and earthworks are complete.”

Pastures will be restored by next June. Once operational in 2013, Gwynt Y Môr is expected to generate electricity equivalent to the average annual needs of around 400,000 homes.

At the open day, resident Steven Dutton, 35, of Abergele, said: “Windfarms are probably one of the best ways to produce electricity rather than nuclear because of the time it takes to decommission power stations.”

But Elaine Swinton, 72, of Pensarn, said: “The developers have already ruined Liverpool Bay with their other windfarms North Hoyle and Rhyl Flats, now they’re building another. If they only last 20 years are we going to be left with rusting metal?”


Offshore WIND staff, December 01, 2011; Image: rwe