Wales’s largest onshore wind farm started operating at full power for the first time late on Sunday (7 May, 2017), 38 months after construction started in the upper Rhondda, Cynon and Afan valleys.
The 76-turbine Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project is capable of meeting the electricity needs of more than 13% of households in Wales every year. It also boosts delivery of Wales’s climate change ambitions, displacing in an average year more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation.
It also boosts Vattenfall’s drive to triple its European wind capacity to 7GW by 2025 and power climate smarter living, the Swedish state owned company’s renewed purpose.
Will Wason, Vattenfall’s Project Director for the £400million Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project, said: “To get to this stage of the project safely and on schedule is obviously very important to Vattenfall and our contractors. I sincerely hope that full generation from Wales’s largest onshore wind farm, producing competitive, clean, predictable power from the valleys will mean a lot to Wales.
“Pen y Cymoedd will power on average 188,000 homes every year across the nation with climate smart electricity and boost action on climate change. Generating full power from Wales’ largest onshore wind farm is a major achievement for the nation.”
Vattenfall has also supported skills development and employment opportunities in Wales. Pen y Cymoedd will employ a workforce of 20 onsite for the lifetime of the project.
Michael Leach, who’s family lives in Pontypridd, said: “I joined Vattenfall's Pen y Cymoedd apprenticeship scheme in 2013. I started that with few skills, now I’m a fully qualified wind turbine technician working for one of the leading wind energy companies in the world. I’m excited about working with a technology that is leading the way in the fight against climate change.”
Andrew Maberly-Jones, Natural Resources Wales’s (NRW) Energy Delivery Programme project manager, said: “This is a further key milestone in the Pen y Cymoedd project.
“Our work with Vattenfall UK on the NRW managed estate proves that this sort of positive partnership can deliver significant renewable energy and sustainable development for future generations, natural resources and the economy in Wales.”
Gunnar Groebler, the Head of Vattenfall’s Business Area Wind, said: “With Pen y Cymoedd reaching full power Vattenfall takes another stride toward being fossil free and powering climate smarter living, our renewed purpose for doing what we do. I would like to thank colleagues and contractors for getting us to this point safely, with public support and on time. A big achievement.”