A windfarm windfall of almost £4 million over 25 years is the green dividend for western Denbighshire – and residents are being urged to start cashing in now.
Communities in a proposed area from Trefnant in the north to Maerdy, near Corwen, in the south and from the River Clwyd in the east over six miles west to the heart of the Denbigh Moors are set to benefit.
The Brenig Wind Limited Community Benefit Fund will be driven by the 16 giant wind turbines that are already turning on the Mynydd Hiraethog horizon to generate over 37.6 megawatts of power – enough to power over six thousand homes a year.
The fund will be administered by Corwen-based rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd who are holding the first of a series of drop-in information sessions in Clawddnewydd and Henllan on Monday and Tuesday next week.
They are also conducting an online survey of opinions on the area to benefit and the possible projects and good causes to be funded by the developers, Chinese-owned power giants CGN Europe Energy.
Cadwyn Clwyd Manager Lowri Owain said: “Brenig Wind is already operational and our aim is to find out where and how local residents want the money to be spent.
“The fund is intended to provide benefits to the communities hosting and living with and around the windfarm in Denbighshire and we’re asking people to give their opinions on how that can be done.
“The funding is expected to be available in the New Year and it is important that as many people as possible are aware of the opportunities and have the chance to have their say.
“It’s a huge opportunity for the communities in and around the Vale of Clwyd and what we are proposing is to set up a grants panel drawn from the area to make the decisions on funding.”
Brenig Wind Farm is in Nantglyn Community Council area, part of the ward of Denbighshire County Councillor for Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch Joe Welch, who said: “I would encourage all local residents to engage in the consultation so that they see what the potential benefits are of the community fund.
“The fund is a lot of money so this is a great opportunity for communities to ‘think big’ and put the building blocks in place which will help communities throughout the next few decades.”
The Brenig Wind Farm is part of a larger area of the Clocaenog Forest where wind turbines are being installed, all of which stands to benefit from the renewables fund and the chair of the Hiraethog Project Steering Group is Denbighshire County Councillor Eryl Williams, from Clawddnewydd, who said: “This is a marvelous opportunity for local community groups and societies to get bids in.
“But they need to be prepared to think out of the box and think big and look at opportunities to work together on common projects with other groups and organisations inside the area.
“We need to think strategically and to involve as many people as possible because they have got time to consider this and get their bids ready.”
Cadwyn Clwyd, which has commissioned by CGN Europe Energy to set up and administer the Community Benefit Fund for Brenig Wind Ltd, has organised two drop-in sessions for the public next week.