As part of the need for greater renewable energy to reach net zero, EDF Renewables sought to develop an onshore wind farm in mid Wales. To submit the planning application for the proposed Garn Fach site, EDF Renewable required an Environmental Statement (ES) including the socio-economic impacts arising from the development.
Wavehill commenced its socio-economic impact assessment of the Garn Fach proposal with a thorough review of the literature evidence available on other onshore wind farms alongside a review of the project documentation and latest policy context. This information was used alongside input costs from EDF Renewables to develop a bespoke model of the potential impact from the Garn Fach project through the development, construction, operation, and decommissioning phases. In addition, the model outlined the potential effects on recreational uses and social outcomes from the community benefit fund and the public sector spending that would be incurred during development. The outputs for the model estimated the impacts on jobs and economic value in mid Wales, the rest of Wales and the rest of the UK.
The planning application for Garn Fach has been submitted to Welsh Ministers for consultation and review and a decision is expected in 2023. If commissioned the 17 turbine wind farm will produce up to 85MW of electricity, enough to power 69,000 households. A community benefit fund of up to £425,000 per year would also be used to support local initiatives during the operation of the site creating economic and social returns on top of those delivered from the development itself.