People, Places, Business

Construction on Wind Farm due

Construction on Wind Farm due to start in 2014

Construction of the largest onshore wind farm in Wales and England, at Pen Y Cymoedd, is set to start next year with the £400m investment predicted to support 300 jobs.

Swedish energy company Vattenfall is to begin work on the scheme, which is in the boroughs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf, in early 2014.

It is estimated that 300 jobs will be supported through the lifetime of the scheme. Vattenfall will also invest £1.8m annually into community funds for the 25 year life of the wind farm.

Contracts have been awarded to local businesses including Spencer Environmental Care Associates in Ceredigion and Neath security company Nite Lite.

Piers Guy, Vattenfall's director of onshore wind development in the UK, said: "Major investment decisions like the one for Pen y Cymoedd Wind Project cannot be made without close co-operation with government.

"An attractive market for investment means that Vattenfall will now complete major procurement contracts over the summer for Pen y Cymoedd and we are confident that a good number of Welsh businesses will benefit from the more than £400m, three year construction programme."

First minister Carwyn Jones said the Pen y Cymoedd project was a "significant and valuable opportunity" for Wales.

Ed Davey, UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, also welcomed the investment.

He said: "The investment by Vattenfall is testament to the power of inward investment in the UK. Onshore wind is a major success story for the UK which brings economic benefit to our shores, supports thousands of skilled jobs and is an important contributor to our energy mix."

The wind farm is expected to be completed in 2016 with the first power generated for the National Grid later that year.