A new planning application has been submitted by Cymdeithas Cwm Arian, Hermon to Pembrokeshire county Council, for 2 community owned wind turbines on the ridge above Llanfyrnach next to the Celtic Blue Rock festival field. The idea came from the community workshops undertaken 3 years ago by PLANED where renewable energy and environmental actions were identified as a priority by local people. The feasibility commissioned by DULAS of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynllecth in 2006 identified Solar, Hydro, Biomass and wind energy as possibilities, with the wind power the most attractive to generate funds for community projects.
From the research and comparative wind speed readings for the site the 2 turbines will result in a Â£80,000 net surplus that can be put to community use in supporting the a wide range of community and regeneration ideas for the Hermon, Glog and Llanfyrnach. The community forum that was set up in 2005 was given the name of Cymdeithas Cwm Arian "Silver Valley Association" and it will be this association that will own the 2 turbines. Full community consultation was conducted in 2006 and everyone supported the developments proposed. The Â£80,000 per annum generated by the wind turbines would then be spent on a wide range of actives and community support projects - i.e. Children & young people groups, ideas or a University of the 3rd Age for retired people, gardening and allotment projects, fun days, community co-ordinator post, maintain and develop the Community Centre (old primary school purchased by the community), hold training events, put up tourism signs, promote the local heritage, help start-up new social enterprise business, community bank branch of the Credit Union, solar and micro energy efficiencies for house holds, look at establishing Community Land Trusts for local affordable housing, ensure all people can develop ideas....etc..etc....
So these 2 turbines will generate funding completely dedicated for community benefits i.e. all profits stay local. The fact that there is a wind farm in Blaenwaun 2 miles away (11 turbines owned by RES Ltd who are main sponsors of the local youth festival) has seen the power from that site linked up to the National Grid via the sub station in Llanfyrnach which will mean very little additional infrastructure work as the 2 proposed turbines are very close to the cables taking this power to the substation. Also the requirement of hard standing roadways leading to the turbines will act as filed roadways for the Festival site thus reducing the need to hire in expensive Â£20k per week steel roadways during the 10,000 capacity voluntary run event held at the beginning of August each year.
The energy and funding derived from the renewable energy will act as a fantastic non grant dependant income stream for ensuring community driven developments and a boost to our local economy. The planning department is asking for feedback and any letters regarding this development - Cymdeithas Cwm Arian are asking if you have time to send a letter of support for such an innovative community owned and run development it would be appreciated. Quoting referenceÂ 08/0118/PA and sennt to the Planning Department, Pembrokeshire County Council, County Hall, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. SA61 1TP. NB Deadline for response 06/06/08 this FRIDAY.Â To view the PDF file regarding the consultation work done in 2006 please visitÂ http://www.cwmarian.org.uk/energy.htm
For more information please contact Cris Tomos - Voluntary Chair of Cymdeithas Cwm Arian.