Towy Valley: Campaign to stop 60 miles of electricity pylons

Public meeting

More than 250 people gathered at the public meeting

A call has been made to save one of Wales’ “great treasures” from 60 miles (96km) of pylons over the countryside.

Bute Energy wants to connect a proposed windfarm at Nant Mithil, Powys, across the Towy Valley to the energy network near Carmarthen.

More than 250 people joined a public meeting at Llandovery Rugby Club, where Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price called for a rethink.

The company said the plan could see energy produced for 200,000 homes.

It added that it wanted to “power Wales with clean green energy, and empower local communities through investment, jobs and skills”.

At Friday’s meeting, Mr Price said one of the “great treasures of Wales” must be safeguarded.

Mr Price, who is the area’s Member of the Senedd (MS), said the plan would “trash a vital part of inheritance”, adding: “We support the aim of ensuring Wales meets the target of 100% renewable electricity generated in Wales but we don’t have to do that by building the cheapest option that will be incredibly environmentally damaging in this area of great sensitivity.”

He called for the company to look at the plans again and consider underground infrastructure.

The Welsh government is aiming for Wales to meet a net zero target by 2050 – meaning as much energy as possible will come from green or renewable sources.

Bute Energy said its windfarm could produce over 200MW of renewable energy – enough to power 200,000 in Wales.

It will be revealing more details about its plans in the next few weeks and will ask the public for their feedback, spokesman Aled Rowlands said.

He added that most people understood the need for renewables and the appropriate infrastructure for the grid, so it was possible to meet a net zero target.

Mr Rowlands said the company was based in Wales and was “developing a unique solution” for the country, adding: “We are currently engaging with landowners to help us develop a detailed and accurate assessment of potential routes.

“Surveying land does not mean it will form part of the route or have infrastructure placed on it. And before we do any surveys, we will agree the scope of work and timing with landowners.”

More than 1,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for the electricity cables to be buried underground.

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