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Carno Wind Farm
Trannon Moor, Carno, Powys, Wales, UK
Carno Wind Farm
associated engineer
Not known
date  1995 - October 1996, December 2007 - March 2009
era  Modern  |  category  Power Generation  |  reference  SN915959
photo  © Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Carno was the largest wind farm in Europe at the time of its construction, and is still the biggest onshore wind farm in Wales. More turbines have been added, with plans for further capacity. The site now produces enough energy to supply the equivalent of at least 22,500 households.
In 1993, the design for Carno Wind Farm was submitted for planning consent following a full environmental impact assessment. Initially, on 16th August 1993, the planning application cited an installation (Carno A) with capacity of 16.8MW. On 30th December 1993, a second application (Carno B) was made for a further 16.8MW capacity.
In April 1994, the combined project received approval. Planning consent was determined on 18th August 1995, and construction began some time afterwards. The site covers more than 600 hectares and is on a plateau 400m above sea level. The wind turbines and access tracks occupy only about one percent of the area.
Carno consists of 56 three-blade wind turbines, with hubs 31.5m above the ground and rotor diameters of 44m. The turbines’ optimal operating speed is 10m per second, or 36kph (22.4mph). Each one has a maximum output of 600kW, giving a total capacity of 33.6MW — equivalent to supplying some 13,900 households annually.
The scheme is owned by Beaufort Wind Ltd and operated by RWE Innogy UK Ltd. It was completed in October 1996, at a cost of some £26 million.
On 10th October 2003, a planning application to extend the wind farm was submitted. The new project was known as Carno 2, or Carno II. In 2005, local farmers and landowners, including Gwyndaf Thomas and David Richards, formed the company Amgeni Ltd to develop the project. Part of the original Carno scheme already occupies land owned by some of Amgeni’s partners.
Planning permission for Carno II was granted on 10th July 2006, and construction commenced in December 2007. Amgeni funded the £20 million scheme. Money was also loaned by the Mid Wales Energy Agency and Finance Wales.
The 12 new 1.3MW three-blade wind turbines installed provide an extra 15.6MW of power, enough to supply around another 8,600 households annually. Siemens supplied and continue to maintain the turbines under a long-term service agreement with Amgeni.
The additional turbines have hubs 49m above the ground and rotor diameters of 62m, giving a tip height of 80m. Each of the blades is 30m long. Turbine optimal operating speed is 15m per second, or 54kph (33.6mph).
The Carno II extension supplied electricity to the National Grid by 1st March 2009. Its 49.2MW annual capacity saves some 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, compared with generating the same output from a coal-fired power station. All 68 turbines at Carno have communal access and grid connection. The connection to the local supply utility is made at 132kV.
The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust carried out archaeological investigations at the site in 1993 and in May 2000, prior to the phases of wind turbine construction. The work examined a Bronze Age funerary and ritual complex of stone cairns at Twr Gwyn ridge (SN918958).
On 15th July 2010, Amgeni Renewables Ltd submitted a further extension scheme (Carno III). The proposal includes 18 wind turbines, transformer housing, one anemometer mast, an electricity substation, a control building, crane hard standings, access alterations, underground cabling, borrow pits and construction compound areas.
The 18 turbines would be much taller at 126m high, and would have a total capacity of 40-45MW. However, by July 2015, no decision had been made about Carno III.
Environmental consultant (1996, 2009): Dulas
Original turbines (1996): Bonus Energy A/S, Denmark
Further turbines (2009): Siemens
Contractor (2009): Jones Bros Ruthin (Civil Engineering) Co Ltd
Construction management (2009): Natural Power Consultants
Research: ECPK
"Carno Press Release", 4th February 2008
document in pdf available on www.fimltd.co.uk

Carno Wind Farm