Wales’ largest wind farm begins operation

Wales’ largest wind farm begins operation

The 76 turbine Pen y Cymoedd wind farm, which is located between Neath and Aberdare, is now open after three years under construction.

The new farm, which can generate enough electricity to power one in six Welsh homes, is the largest of its kind ever constructed by Swedish company Vattenfall.

Pen y Cymoedd could also become the largest commercial wind farm in the world with a co-located battery facility for storing electricity.

At the farm’s inauguration, Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall stressed the importance of producing and storing energy on the same site: “We want to continue growing in the renewable sector to become fossil free within a generation.

“With Pen y Cymoedd, and the possibility to store energy, we continue to transform our energy production and find new and innovative ways to help customers and partners to be climate smart.

Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall´s Wind Business, which involves investments of five billion euros over five years, said: “The inauguration of Pen y Cymoedd wind farm highlights a very important step for us.

“Successfully completing our largest onshore wind farm so far underlines that we are well on track with our ambitious goals in wind power.

“We are very proud, that Pen y Cymoedd will provide green energy to the equivalent of15 percent of the households in Wales.

“Now we are looking forward to equip Pen y Cymoedd with additional battery storage capacity in order to support the grid integration of renewable energy we produce here in Wales.”

The three-year construction for the 228 megawatt wind farm secured work for more than 1,000 workers in Wales.

Now that it’s built, Pen y Cymoedd will employ 23 skilled wind farm technicians and support staff from the local workforce over the next 20 years.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Wind power is a key part of our efforts to build a sustainable low carbon economy for Wales.

“I am pleased we were able to support this project, which has shown how the local community, the Welsh economy and people right across the country can benefit from such a scheme.”

In March, Vattenfall and the BMW Group signed an agreement for the supply of up to 1,000 lithium-ion batteries this year.

The batteries, which have a capacity of 33 kilowatt hours (kWh) each, will be packaged and installed at Pen y Cymoedd in Q4 this year and deliver enhanced frequency response to the National Grid hence to help integrate renewable energy into the energy system.