Problems for two major energy projects
Two major energy infrastructure projects have hit problems in the last week. A huge Welsh onshore wind farm has been rejected by the UK Government while ministers have delayed a decision on a key pipeline project designed to transport carbon dioxide captured from a new coal-fired power station in Yorkshire and inject it into a saline storage site under the North Sea.
The Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm was refused development consent by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd against the advice of the planning inspector who examined the 27-turbine proposal earmarked for a site east of Aberystwyth.
Rudd’s decision letter said consent could not be granted because the SoS could not be sure there would not be an adverse effect on the red kite population in the nearby Elenydd-Mallaen Special Protection Area (SPA).
Meanwhile Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has announced there will be six-month delay in a government decision on National Grid’s Yorkshire and Humber carbon capture and storage (CCS) cross country pipeline scheme.
The pipeline would transport CO2 from the proposed White Rose CCS-equipped coal-fired power station via a multi-junction at Camblesforth (North Yorkshire) to a coastal point near Barmston (East Riding of Yorkshire).
The project had been the subject of an application for development consent under the planning regime for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).
The scheme had been examined by the Planning Inspectorate and a recommendation submitted to ministers three months ago. A decision was due by 19 November.
Ministers have now exercised the right to insist on an extension before making a decision. In this case the six-month delay will allow time for a development consent decision to be made on the White Rose CCS plant. This is due next spring.