Cefn Coch chosen as Powys substation site
Published: 31st Jul 2012 11:38:09
The village of Cefn Coch has been selected as the preferred site for a controversial electricity substation in Powys.
The hub could be linked by more than 100 pylons in a corridor along the Vyrnwy Valley and parts of Shropshire.
National Grid said a combination of overhead lines and underground cables was "likely".
Opponents say the substation and the pylons, to connect to wind farms, will disfigure the countryside.
Pylons, some measuring 154ft (47m), are planned to link the substation with the national transmission network in Shropshire, although the National Grid said underground cables would also be used.
Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (Map) called the decision a "travesty" and it is organising a meeting for local residents in Cefn Coch near Llanfair Caereinion at 17:00 BST.
It said massive pylons would "destroy countryside" through Llansanffraid near Welshpool to Frankton near Ellesmere, Shropshire.
The National Grid announced its preferred options for the 19-acre (7.6ha) substation more than a year ago.
Abermule, near Newtown, had also been proposed as a possible location, along with a site to the south west of Cefn Coch.
The proposals, aimed at connecting with about 10 wind farms, have prompted protests. About 1,500 campaigners gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in May last year against the plans.
The National Grid, announcing the decision in Welshpool, said network was needed to connect new wind farms in mid Wales to the high voltage electricity network in Shropshire.
The map shows a corridor from Cefn Coed through the Vrwynwy valley near Llansantffraid and Four Crosses, over the border into Shropshire to Lower Frankton.
"It has not yet been decided how the connection will be constructed but, based on work so far, it is likely that a combination of both overhead lines and underground cables will be used," said a spokesperson.
"We will now carry out more work to identify the most appropriate technology for different parts of the route."
Jeremy Lee, lead project manager for National Grid, said the project was at an early stage and there were still many decisions to be made.
He added: "We will carry on listening to local views and these will play an important role as our plans progress.
"We understand people have concerns about overhead lines, but where they are used, we will work hard to reduce any visual effects by routing the line carefully and using appropriate pylon designs which could include the new T-pylon."
National Grid's public exhibitions about the plans were attended by more than 6,000 people.
It is now planning information events following Tuesday's announcement.
Mid and West Wales AM William Powell, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, said the decision would have a huge impact on people.
He added: "While it is natural that there will be a sense of relief in the village of Abermule, and other communities along the potential southern corridor up to and beyond the Shropshire border, there are no winners from today's announcement.
"This decision is certain to have a huge negative impact on many people, therefore I think is it vitally important that those who stand to be affected take time to reflect on the options available to them.
"In any event, there must be a comprehensive compensation package for landowners, businesses and communities affected by today's announcement."
Dr David Clubb, director of RenewableUK Cymru, said: "We welcome the announcement from National Grid outlining the next stage of public consultation for an upgrade to the mid Wales grid.
"Network upgrades are needed to connect the green energy generated in the area to the electricity transmission system to serve local homes and businesses.
"Onshore wind offers a real opportunity for Wales to unlock investment and create jobs."
Work on the substation could be finished by 2015.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Cefn Coch chosen as Powys substation site. [Online] (Updated 31 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1443636-Cefn-Coch-chosen-as-Powys-substation-site [Accessed 12th May 2013]
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