National Grid needs to connect proposed new wind farms in mid Wales to the electricity transmission network.
Preferred Route Corridor and Substation
Following consultation in 2011, National Grid have recently announced their preferred route corridor and Substation. They have identified Cefn Coch in Powys as the preferred substationsiting area and the route corridor from Cefn Coch, via Llansantffraid, to Lower Frankton in Shropshire as the preferred route option.
For more information on this announcement and on what happens next please visit the National Grid Mid Wales Connection Project website via the link below.
Background to the proposals
The Welsh Assembly Government has identified mid Wales as an important location for renewable energy. It has put forward a number of areas in the region suitable for wind farm developments, known as Strategic Search Areas (SSAs).
National Grid has received applications from developers progressing proposals for new wind farms within these SSAs, to provide a connection to the national electricity transmission network. They have also received an application from ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN), the local distribution network operator, which plans to connect further proposed wind farms.
There is no existing high voltage electricity transmission network in the area of the proposed new generation, so a new connection will be required to get the energy from where it is generated to where it is needed.
National Grid is proposing to construct a new substation to collect the energy from the wind farms, and a new 400,000 volt (400 kV) transmission connection, which will then take the power from the substation and connect it to the national transmission system.
As well as the work National Grid is undertaking, SPEN and SSE Renewables are proposing new 132,000 volt (132kV) local connections which will connect the power generated from the wind farms to National Grid's proposed new substation.
Who makes the final decision
As this project deals with nationally significant infrastructure, Shropshire Council do not make the decision on this proposal. Instead Shropshire Council acts as a statutory consultee in the process.
Under the Localism Act 2011, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) become the agency responsible for operating the planning process for nationally significant infrastucture projects. The Secretary of State makes the final decision on the proposal.
For more information on this process follow the link to the Planning Portal website below.