Pen Cymoedd Wind Farm
The drive from from Merthyr towards the Neath Valley and towards the planned Pen Cymoedd wind farm is one of the several locations planned for the Energy+Notion project.
The area around Rhigos, Pen Cymoedd and into the Rhondda Valley have seen remarkable changes to their landscape; physical and social.
As you cross the brow of the hill of the Neath Valley you see the mountains on the edge of the South Wales coal fields littered with turbines.
Clinging to the edge of the mountain, huge piles of black broken rock form the outline of Tower Regeneration opencast coal mine. The opencast site is exploiting what’s left of the coal where the remnants of the the vast South Wales coal seam surfaces.
As you plunge towards Rhigos a new solar farm has been built on the site of an old open cast mine by enterprising farmer Richard Morgan.
Morgan has long mixed energy generation with sheep farming as a way to increase and maximise his income.
The mountain road passes Tower, the last fully operational deep mine in Wales. The mine has a colorful and wonderful history of revolt and independence. It was bought out by the miners after the socially and economically devastating miners strike of the early eighties. Tyrone Williams and his band of men kept the open and running at a profit until recently.
The road winds around the Rhigos mountain where it is cut like a toboggan run.
The scenic spot at the top offers a breath-taking view of the Neath Valley, the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
As you continue the road dips and plunges into Treherbert and the Rhondda Valley. Made famous for the deep miners that brought up the best steam coal in Wales.
In the distance on this wind-swept April morning, two massive top loaders where struggling up the side of the mountain on a newly built road. The lorries were so big they could not possibly get their long load along the original mountain road. The lorries were carrying materiel for Wales’ largest on shore wind-farm – Pen Cymoedd Wind Farm. The farm will house 76 turbines and generate electricity for 140,000 homes.
As the last mines mines disappear – not to mention the energy that they produce – a new generation of energy producers are being erected.
Love them or hate them, wind turbine farms are transforming the landscape, and enabling Wales to make the most of the it’s energy potential.
Vattenfall are building the largest on-shore farm in Wales on the top of the Rhigos mountain.