Visit Wales Now

Visit Wales and see some dramatic changes to the landscape

The hills at Cefn Croes in Ceredigion looked quite different after the installation of 39 wind turbines.  

What there is to see in the Welsh landscape

Turbines are getting bigger. Many of the existing wind turbines in the Welsh countryside are about 148 feet (45 metres) high. In the latest round of planning applications, the typical 2 megawatt (MW) wind turbine is nearly 400 feet (110 metres). This is as tall as a 40-storey building. The turbines being proposed for Brechfa Forest will be 145 metres !

The blade span of a modern 2.5 MW wind turbine is equivalent to the wing span of a jumbo jet. The blade tips can travel at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.  
This diagram gives an idea of scale - the vertical scale is in metres. 

But remember, turbines are sited on high hills and mountain ridges to take advantage of the prevailing winds, so their visual intrusion is magnified by their prominence in the landscape.  

Some of the largest turbines are being developed in Denmark. These 5 MW giants reach 600 feet (180 metres) into the sky (400 ft to the turbine nacelle and a further 200 ft for the blades) - four times the height of the Statue of Liberty. Gamesa, the Spanish-based developer, plans to install 14 of these monsters on two sites in the Upper Afan valley, one just to the east of Glyncorrwg and the other just east of Croeserw in South Wales.

One of the largest machines now is the Enercon E-126 (198 metres high) and rotor diameter of 126 metres. It's rated output is 6-7 MW.

If all the proposed wind farm developments go ahead, turbines will be visible from almost anywhere in Wales.  

This map produced by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) shows the areas of visual intrusion of all existing and proposed wind farms in Wales. Because wind turbines are sited on high ground their visual impact on the surrounding landscape is increased.  

The white areas show land within 15 km of an existing or proposed wind turbine site.

 

The pink striped areas show land within 25 km of a Strategic Search Area i.e. an area that the Welsh Assembly has specified as particularly suitable for large-scale wind-energy developments.

 

The yellow areas show the few parts of Wales where you will hopefully not see a wind turbine.

Visual intrusion is the reason most often cited when wind farm planning applications are turned down by local Councils.

 

Acknowledgements to CPRW.

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