We’re acting now to build and operate a green energy network for Wales, that will make sure 100% renewable energy can flow to our homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, and communities.
We’re playing a pivotal role in providing a reliable and robust distribution network that will tackle the energy crisis, climate crisis, as well as the cost-of-living crisis. It will also empower rural communities through investment, jobs, and skills, enabling communities to live modern electric lives.
We want to make sure Wales has the energy it needs in a Net Zero world.
There’s endless potential for renewable energy in Wales – particularly from the wind that blows across our hills and mountains. But the green energy is stuck in the windy areas of Wales, and we need to get it to the homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, and communities that need it. To respond to this challenge and meet Welsh Government’s target for 100% renewable electricity in Wales by 2035, we’re developing a stronger, more resilient renewable electricity network that is greatly needed in Wales – distributing clean, green energy.
We want to build a positive, clean future for us all.
Our ambitious proposals will see us increase renewable energy within Wales, helping address the biggest threat facing future generations – the climate emergency. We are part of the Bute Energy group and will connect the renewable energy generated by Bute Energy’s wind and solar parks to the national grid.
Our green grid network will be designed to enable the connection of other organisations energy parks, community projects and support energy resilience. It also has the capacity to support technologies like 5G that could help farmers, schools, and businesses to be at the cutting edge of technology while being based in a rural area.
Green GEN Cymru is currently applying for an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) licence from Ofgem and will pay for the construction and maintenance of the new electricity distribution network. While Bute Energy’s energy parks will pay an annual charge for using the distribution network.
We believe that as a Welsh renewable energy business, we are uniquely placed to work with Welsh communities, landowners, stakeholders, and suppliers to create economic and community benefits for Wales. The Community Benefit fund represents significant investment locally and we’re committed to ensuring that the fund has the largest possible impact on the communities surrounding the network.
Adopting renewable energy sources will have positive impacts on local communities right across Wales. Our new renewable network will create jobs and stimulate economic growth, reduce pollution, and improve public health. Local communities will also benefit from increased energy independence and resilience, as they’ll be less vulnerable to energy supply disruptions.
Using green energy to power your home or business can help to lower your energy costs – it’s cheaper than gas and nuclear. And importantly, transitioning to renewable energy is crucial for the health of the planet – renewable energy sources produce little to no emissions. We can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.
This year we launched Green GEN Towy Usk – a new 132kV overhead electricity distribution line connecting the proposed Nant Mithil Energy Park. The energy park will generate around 237MW of clean, green energy in the Radnor Forest, with the new overhead line connecting to the national grid at a point near Carmarthen.
And this month, September 2023, we’re launching our second project Green GEN Vyrnwy Frankton – proposed new 132kV overhead line projects that are more than 2km in length and are partly in England and partly in Wales. The projects are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP).
You can find out more about our projects here.
We plan overhead line routes carefully, to reduce the effects on local people, the natural environment, and habitats. However, all suitable technology options for connecting the proposed Nant Mithil Energy Park to the National Grid will be considered, including using lattice pylons, wood poles, and underground cables.
We’re currently proposing overhead lines as they’re less intrusive during the construction period, and have significantly less impact on ecology and biodiversity. And they’re easier to build, maintain and repair – keeping disruption to local communities during construction and operation to a minimum. They’re more economical too – undergrounding cables of this kind are typically between 7 and 10 times more expensive.
Connecting communities to green energy in this way reduces pressure on the existing electricity grid, supporting energy resilience, enabling green heating and the roll out of electric vehicles across Wales – in the quickest and most economical way possible.
Currently there is no infrastructure in the area that can distribute the power from the proposed Nant Mithil Energy Park to the national grid. The Green GEN Towy Usk project is needed to take energy from where it is produced, to where we will use it in our homes and businesses.
It will also allow direct connection of community and other renewable projects, while reducing pressure on the existing electricity grid, supporting energy resilience, enabling green heating and the roll out of electric vehicles across Wales.
Our proposal is to take the power from the wind energy park to a proposed new substation on the existing National Grid 400kV transmission line near Carmarthen. The connection is proposed to be made with a 132kV double-circuit overhead line. The new line will also be able to connect future wind parks being planned in south Wales, reducing the amount of additional infrastructure needed in future.
01 – In March 2023, we’ll be holding a public consultation to listen to your views on our preferred overhead line route, and anything you’d like to raise about the project. There we’ll publish full details of our proposals and hold a series of public exhibitions where people can find out more about our plans.
02 – We’ll carefully consider all feedback received, along with reports from our environmental and technical surveys, which will help us develop a detailed design for the network. We’ll publish a report summarising the feedback received in this first round of consultation and how this has influenced our proposals.
03 – We’ll then carry out a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment and hold a second round of public consultation, so that people can share their views on the detailed route alignment.
04 – After considering all feedback, we will finalise our proposals and submit applications for consent in early 2025. A final round of statutory consultation will be held before a decision is made on our applications. The connection will be in place to support the energy park contracted connection date in 2028.
Green GEN Cymru will enable low-carbon generation to be connected to the electricity network and to the homes and businesses where we use it. Once up and running, wind generation is one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation and Green GEN Towy Usk will contribute towards controlling our energy prices in the future.
No decisions have yet been made as to how the Community Benefit Fund will be administered. But we do want to make sure as many local people, groups and service providers are involved in developing the priorities for the investment of the fund.
We’re creating a 100% green, sustainable energy system for everyone living in Wales. We’ll be connecting wind farm projects from Bute Energy who’ll be investing millions of pounds every year into Welsh communities closest to our projects through a unique Community Benefit Fund. This money will be available and invested into communities closest to the wind projects and the electricity network.
It will play an important role in promoting the wellbeing of the local community, by providing financial support for initiatives that improve the quality of life for community members, help secure clean energy independence, foster engagement, and address social and economic concerns – a unique approach in Britain.
Where would you like the money to be invested? Whatever it is, during our public consultation, we’d like to hear your thoughts to better understand how best to spend this money.
We are a Welsh company, and we are committed to investing in Wales and supporting the Welsh economy. We are still at an early stage of project development, but we will be providing opportunities to the Welsh supply chain wherever possible.
The network has been carefully designed to take into consideration the ornithology, wildlife and habitats along the Green GEN Cymru route.
We’ll be identifying and evaluating the likely significant environmental effects, both positive and negative, of the route through the Environmental Impact Assessment. It will identify and mitigate potential impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. The process ensures that planning decisions are made in the full knowledge of the likely environmental effects and promotes engagement with statutory bodies, local interest groups.
We’ll closely monitor the environmental effects throughout the construction phase and activities.