Welsh Wind Power Project Moves Ahead

In support of the United Kingdom’s renewable energy target to produce 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2015, construction activities recently began on the Cefn Croes Wind Project in Wales.

London, United Kingdom – April 29, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Recently acquired by Falck Renewables Limited, the wind energy subsidiary of the Falck Group of Italy, the project was co-developed by the Renewable Development Company (RDC) of Mold, Wales and GE Energy. Full turnkey construction, wind turbine supply, operation and maintenance services are being provided by GE Energy. “We are very pleased to be taking this world-class project forward,” said Achille Colombo, managing director of the Falck Group. “The project will make an important contribution toward the target for growth of renewable energy as well as providing strong economic support to the local area.” Located near Devil’s Bridge, approximately 15 kilometers east of Aberystwyth, the project will use 39 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, among the world’s most proven and widely utilized wind turbines of their class with over 2,200 installed worldwide. “We are delighted to be working with Falck and RDC to bring new renewable capacity to Wales,” said Steve Zwolinski, CEO of GE Energy’s wind segment. “GE has enjoyed a long-time presence in Wales where we currently employ 1,000 people. We are pleased that this showcase project will represent GE’s first wind turbine installation in Wales.” Once completed in October 2004, the Cefn Croes Wind Project will add 58.5 megawatts of new renewable capacity, a significant contribution toward meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets. With an electricity mix currently supplied primarily by imported oil products, gas and coal, wind energy generation will allow Wales to utilize its clean, abundant natural resource while reducing imports and increasing energy security. The project’s power will be sold to the Non-Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency and distributed to the national grid through SP ManWeb. The wind plant’s estimated annual generation will add enough new capacity to serve approximately 40,000 households. From its earliest planning stages, the project has been designed to provide significant local benefits. It represents one of the largest single investments ever made in the Ceredigion area of mid-Wales. Project developers estimate ý9 million (US$16.1 million) of local Welsh contracts will be made available through project construction, with about ý5 million (US$8.9 million) to be sourced in mid-Wales. The project will provide on-site employment opportunities for more than 100 people over the construction period, and four ongoing service jobs once the project is complete. Located on 7.5 square kilometers of land leased from the Forestry Commission, the project includes an ambitious land management program valued at ý250,000 (US$447,000) that is aimed at restoring the site’s ecological value lost through commercial forestry and agriculture. A community fund is also being established. The fund is expected to represent an annual value of ý58,500 (US$104,000) to provide local community benefit for such matters as energy efficiency, environmental education, conservation and environmental management, tourism and community development.

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