The largest onshore wind farm in England and Wales, built by a joint venture including Jones Bros Civil Engineering, was officially opened today [28/9/2017] by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.
The 76-turbine Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project scheme in the South Wales Valleys was built by a 50:50 joint venture of Jones Bros and Balfour Beatty, for Swedish energy group Vattenfall.
At the launch, Vattenfall revealed that the project had been a major boost for the Welsh economy. It announced that 52 per cent of its £400m investment had gone to businesses in Wales. This had secured work for more than 1,000 workers in Wales over the past three years.
Vattenfall president and CEO, Magnus Hall, said: “Pen y Cymoedd boosts Wales’ drive to carbon reduction, it accelerates Vattenfall’s shift to be fossil free in a generation and it helps the Welsh economy to grow.
“Vattenfall and our contractors have spent £220m in the Welsh economy since construction started in 2014, which is 52 per cent of the total investment we have made in Pen y Cymoedd.
“That is quite an achievement and one we will want to repeat if we get the chance to build other wind farms in Wales. We are in Wales to grow.”
Huw Jones, chairman of the Ruthin-headquartered firm, said at the launch: “Pen y Cymoedd has been a successful contract, not only for our business, but also our 350 employees and their families.
“Around 90 per cent of our employees are Welsh, and it’s fantastic that so much of the investment into the Pen y Cymoedd workforce has been going straight back into the Welsh economy via their pay packets.”
The First Minister said: “Wind power is a key part of our efforts to build a sustainable low carbon economy for Wales. I am pleased we were able to support this project, which has shown how the local community, the Welsh economy and people right across the country can benefit from such a scheme.”
For the next 20 years or more, Pen y Cymoedd will employ 23 skilled wind farm technicians and support staff from the local workforce.
Huw Jones, added: “To be able to work on more onshore wind farms in Wales would mean more good news for the business and the Welsh families it supports.”
In an average year, Pen y Cymoedd will power the equivalent of 188,000 UK homes, about 15 per cent of Welsh households.