Renewable energy company RWE has formally submitted a planning application for the development of the Pen March Wind Farm, a 30MW project situated near Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney in South Wales. If approved, this six-turbine facility has the potential to generate electricity sufficient to meet the energy needs of approximately 24,500 homes, equivalent to the town of Merthyr Tydfil itself.
RWE's project manager, Jenny Cowley, who leads the development, expressed gratitude to the local community and stakeholders who contributed to the project during the pre-application consultation phases. Cowley emphasized that the feedback received has been incorporated into the planning application, which also includes comprehensive environmental surveys covering aspects such as ecology, ornithology, hydrology, noise, landscape, visual impacts, and weather measurements.
Cowley pointed to RWE's operational portfolio across Wales as a testament to the company's commitment to benefiting local communities and supporting regional businesses and supply chains. The Pen March Wind Farm, if approved, is expected to play a significant role in addressing climate change.
The planning proposal has undergone extensive discussions with local political representatives and interested parties since initial site assessments commenced in 2019. In late 2022, RWE conducted a six-week statutory pre-application consultation, which featured exhibitions and opportunities for local community members to provide input.
Following the acceptance of the application as valid, it will be reviewed by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales, with a final decision by the Welsh ministers anticipated in 2024. Given that part of the proposed site is on registered common land within the Gelligaer and Merthyr Common, separate consent from the Welsh Ministers will be required to proceed with development.
In the event that Pen March Wind Farm secures planning consent, RWE intends to collaborate closely with the local community to create a benefit package tailored to meet local needs. Furthermore, discussions have taken place with Caerphilly and Merthyr County Borough Councils to explore a shared ownership agreement that could involve council investment for the mutual benefit of the local population.