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Our proposals for the Rhiwlas Green Energy Network.

What does the project involve?

The Rhiwlas Green Energy Network (Rhiwlas GEN) will connect the clean, green energy generated by Bute Energy’s proposed Banc Du and Rhiwlas Energy Parks to the national electricity grid. In order to do this, we are proposing a new 132kV (132,000- volt) overhead line, supported on wood poles, between Rhiwlas Energy Park and a new collector substation near to Cefn Coch, Llanfair Caereinion (part of Green GEN Cymru’s Vyrnwy-Frankton connection project). We are also proposing a new underground cable route approximately 3km long, at the lower voltage of 33kV, to connect the Energy Parks.

For more information about Bute Energy’s Banc Du Energy Park, please click here.

For more information about Bute Energy’s Rhiwlas Energy Park, please click here.

Why is this project needed?

The existing electricity network does not have the capacity to connect new renewable energy generation to the national grid. Green GEN Cymru is seeking to address this by providing a new connection.

Rhiwlas GEN will link Bute Energy’s proposed Energy Parks, which combined, will generate around 145MW (megawatts) of renewable energy to the national grid, supporting the delivery of clean, green energy to homes, communities and businesses that need it.

What will the overhead line look like?

We understand that there are a variety of views about the infrastructure required to connect new renewable energy projects to the national grid.

The overhead line proposed as part of Rhiwlas GEN would be made on wooden poles, examples of which can be seen below. These poles are typically 12-14m tall, though this may vary depending on local conditions, for example changes in topography, or where the connection needs to cross roads or railways, to a maximum height of 15m.

Where the proposed line changes direction, angle poles will be required, with additional stay wires to reduce tension and ensure stability.


Examples of what the wooden pole connection will look like - click the image above to open a gallery

The planning process

Installation of new overhead lines of 132kV means this project is classed as a Development of National Significance (DNS) in Wales. The final decision on the project will be made by Welsh Ministers and developers must apply for planning consent to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW).

Prior to submitting a planning application, we will be carrying out a range of technical assessments and surveys to inform our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA will then form part of the Environmental Statement (ES), which sets out the potential impacts of the Rhiwlas GEN project and any proposed mitigations.

Prior to submitting a planning application to PEDW, we will consult with statutory bodies, such as Powys County Council and Natural Resources Wales (NRW), as well as other agencies and bodies, to gather their views on the project.

We will also be carrying out further consultation with local communities, including a statutory Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) where residents, stakeholders and other interested parties will be able to review and comment on the detailed designs of the Rhiwlas GEN project, as well as the draft ES.

Project timeline
Below is an indication of key milestones for the Rhiwlas GEN project. Please note, these may be subject to change and updates will be made to the timeline over the coming months.

Non-statutory consultation on the preferred route corridor

November 2023 to January 2024

Review of feedback and refinement of route options

Early 2024

Submission of scoping request to Planning & Environment Decisions Wales

Early 2024

Ongoing technical surveys and assessments and development of design

Mid/late 2024

Further non-statutory public consultation

Late 2024

Statutory Pre-Application Consultation

Mid 2025

DNS application submission

Late 2025

Rhiwlas GEN operational

Mid 2028

Our preferred route

Working with our environmental consultants, we have identified an initial preferred corridor of land, through which an overhead line route could be installed. Local communities, constraints (such as designations) and construction factors have all been considered when informing our decision to date.

In developing our proposals we have tried to ensure that we have avoided these considerations and where it has not been possible to avoid we have sought to reduce the effects as much as possible. As we develop our proposals further, we will continue to assess how these may affect local people, the landscape, biodiversity, forestry, cultural heritage and flood risk, as well as other land uses and work to reduce effects.

We are keen to understand local views as part of the process of refining and developing the preferred route of the overhead line.

We appreciate that the development of new infrastructure can sometimes be disruptive to communities. We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce disturbance to both the environment and those who live, work and enjoy recreation close to our proposals.

You can find out more information about how we identified our preferred route, in our Routeing and Consultation Document, which can be found here.