England and Wales’ largest onshore wind farm has begun operating at full power – 38 months after construction started.
All 76 of the Siemens turbines are now generating electricity at Vattenfall’s flagship Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project in South Wales.
Ruthin-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and Balfour Beatty, in a joint venture, have delivered balance of plant and infrastructure services on behalf of Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company.
The wind farm is expected to produce enough renewable energy to meet the electricity demand of more than 188,000 UK homes. It also boosts delivery of Wales’ climate change ambitions, displacing in an average year more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation.
Civil works for the project began in February 2014, with the joint venture leading on the construction of concrete foundations for the 76 turbines, laying of 56km of electrical cables, and installation and upgrading of 80km of access tracks.
Eryl Roberts, joint venture project manager of the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project, said: “It’s amazing to know that the hard work of the team is paying off as we hit yet another milestone with this project.
“The final turbine was erected eight weeks ago and now the site is operating at full power.
“The next, and final, act for the joint venture is to complete reinstatement and snagging works and to hand over the fourth and final region to Vattenfall.”
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’ 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.”
More than 70 per cent of all plant operatives have been sourced from within 30 miles of the Pen y Cymoedd site, and a total of 12 apprentices have been employed as part of the project.
The Siemens turbines have been specially selected to maximise the amount of energy generated. The turbine foundations required between 520m³ and 610m³ of concrete. A total of 6000t of reinforcement was used.