National Grid announced a preferred substation site and draft route to connect proposed wind farms in Mid Wales, which includes putting the connection underground for 8 mi in the Meifod Valley – about one quarter of the 33-mi route. In all other areas, National Grid is proposing to use overhead lines and has developed a draft route to keep away from villages and other important areas, as much as possible, and use hills and trees as a natural backdrop to help keep any visual impact to a minimum.
National Grid will now be looking at where best to place pylons and which designs are most appropriate. This will include consideration of the new T-pylon which is approximately 15 m shorter than conventional steel lattice pylons.
Mid Wales Connection project manager Jeremy Lee said: “We recognize the rich cultural significance of the Meifod Valley, which includes Mathrafal and Glyndwr’s Way, and understand the potential impact a 400-kV steel lattice overhead line could have on the valley – something people told us was very important to them. We think putting this section of the connection underground is the best way to manage these effects and means this area can be largely kept to how it looks today.”
A preferred site for the substation has also been identified. It is in a secluded location close to the wind farms, and not visible from villages and the road through the area. This too was highlighted as very important by local communities. The site is a short distance to the north west of the original siting area on land that is part of the Tir Gwynt wind farm.
Jeremy Lee added: “We looked at several sites for the substation and we have selected one which we think best balances all of the factors we must consider. We think it offers strong opportunities to reduce visual impact and puts the substation away from villages and caravan parks in the area.”
National Grid will continue to carry out assessments in the coming months to further understand how its proposals could affect the environment, tourism, flooding and other important factors and will be consulting with landowners and local communities. All of this information will help National Grid develop a detailed design for the connection.
“Local communities and landowners can influence the detailed design of our proposals and we’re now asking people in the area for their views. This feedback is really important and will help us understand how we can further reduce any effects of our work,” Jeremy said.