Blown away! Jones Bros celebrates official opening of onshore wind farm4th Aug 2022

A leading UK civil engineering firm has been able to celebrate the official opening of Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK was the principal contractor on RWE’s onshore wind farm, located near Denbigh, which consists of 27 turbines that can provide renewable electricity equivalent to the needs of 63,800 homes.

Ruthin-headquartered Jones Bros is located less than 10 miles from the wind farm and provided work for 60 employees together with 15 apprentices and trainee engineers as part of the £20m contract.

Although the wind farm has been in operation for more than a year following the 18-month construction, COVID-19 restrictions prevented the scheme from officially opening.

Jones Bros contracts director, Eryl Roberts, was in attendance to commemorate the opening in Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre.

He said: “It was wonderful to finally be able to celebrate the official opening of the wind farm.

“It’s fantastic to be reminded of the hard work that went into the project, which is already providing renewable electricity.

“We are passionate about renewable energy, the local community, and providing opportunities for people from the region to work on projects, and this scheme ticked all of those boxes.”

Jones Bros project engineer, Hari Evans, who worked on the scheme, added: “I learned a lot from my time at Clocaenog and I really developed my skills.

“I live close by, so to work on a major renewables project that my friends and family will be well aware of and potentially see, was fantastic.”

Jones Bros also constructed 8km of new access tracks, upgraded 20km of existing tracks, built crane hard standings, installed cabling to connect the 27 turbines to the electricity grid and completed the 33kV/132kV substation and reinstatement works at the 96MW wind farm located within the working forest, managed by Natural Resources Wales.

The civil engineering company’s community work included setting up visits from Ysgol Betws Gwerfil Goch, Ysgol Bro Elwern, Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Ysgol Gellifor and Myddelton College.

Julie James MS, Welsh government minister for climate change, who officially opened the wind farm, said: “Onshore wind already accounts for 39 per cent of our renewable electricity generation in Wales but we have big ambitions in this sector.

“We have the vision for Wales to become net exporters of renewable energy in a way that supports the economy and retains value in Wales. We want to regenerate the industry so that we bring benefits to our communities and create skilled jobs.

“We have already made great strides in making net zero a reality in Wales. We want an electricity network which is smarter, greener, and capable of supporting a low carbon future, which meets the future needs of our communities and people. Providing the best long-term value for Wales.”

Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros owns one of the largest plant fleets in the UK and employs approximately 500 people.

The company is currently working on contracts in various sectors including highways, flood and marine defence, waste management and renewable energy around the UK.

The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced nearly 50 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.