Despite the recent flurry of press releases issued by Bute Energy Limited, a few points should be borne in mind.

Bute Energy Limite is simply a commercial private company seeking to bulldoze (literally) its way into securing lucrative contracts at the expense of the beautiful countryside enjoyed by so many in Montgomeryshire and upland Powys. 

Its subsidiary GreenGEN Cymru (Green Generation Energy Networks Cymru Limited) has no official status (unlike the National Grid, NG, whose own proposals for a massive pylon line through the county had to be shelved a decade ago).

Bute is a Scottish company with capital funding from the Danish investment company CIP (Copenhagen Investment Partners) which plans to construct a string of so-called ‘energy parks’ (wind farms) in Powys.

GreenGen has not yet been licensed as an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) by the UK energy regulator Ofgem. Even if it had, it would have to jump through a number of legal hoops before being able to access land without consent. 

We are currently advising landowners to ignore their official sounding letters and treat them as they would, say, any salesman or company seeking to market their goods or services.

Bute claims to provide enough electricity to power a medium sized town, but this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. 

Their figures refer to maximum capacity but as Bute well knows, average wind turbine output (because the wind does not blow all the time) is around 20-30 per cent – the so-called “load factor”, in the jargon. Anyway backup (usually gas) is needed for when the wind is not blowing.
New wind turbines built in Montgomeryshire will not contribute to meeting Wales’s green energy requirements. 

Wales is already providing more than its share of renewable energy, and the purpose of GreenGen’s pylons is to export the electricity from Bute’s wind farms straight out into England. So Wales will not benefit at all. 

There are many green alternatives – offshore wind, tidal, wave power, mini-hydro and better insulation.

The industrialisation of mid-Wales through giant turbines and pylons damages the two biggest industries of the region, tourism and farming, as well as house prices.

Bute’s proposed pylon route is across some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, the Banwy, Vyrnwy, Meifod and Severn valleys, as well as the sites of many historical events. 

The special nature of the scenery is acknowledged in the proposal to include the area in a new National Park.

The last pylon route proposed by the National Grid was opposed by crowds of up to 4,000 people, as well as the largest demonstration the Welsh Senedd had seen in its history. Already 250 people have turned out to MAP’s first meeting in Meifod in September. 

Last time, referenda carried out by Community Councils found that some 90 per cent of people along the pylon route were opposed, and under recent localism legislation, planning authorities have a duty to allow their views to be heard.

Montgomeryshire Against Pylons will be holding information events throughout the affected area.

You don’t save the planet by trashing the planet’s loveliest scenery. Let’s unite to preserve our unique mid-Wales.

Montgomeryshire Against Pylons