Communities close to Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm will receive about £19m (€22m) in funding over 20 years for local improvements. The money will come from the owner(s) of the 576MW project, currently RWE, Stadtwerke München, and Siemens.
An annual fund of £768,000 (index-linked to inflation) will begin to operate once the project is fully commissioned in Q3 2014. Over the course of the wind farm’s 20-year lifespan this should amount to just under £19m.
It has not yet been decided which local organisation will administer the fund, an RWE spokesperson told Windpower Offshore, but this will be decided in time for the fund’s commencement. "The crucial element is to make sure that the organisation truly represents the community," added the spokesperson. In the past, RWE has worked with community councils and newly formed community groups created especially to administer project benefit packages, the spokesperson explained.
Installation of inter-array cables at Gwynt y Môr will begin any day now, with Reef Subsea’s installation vessel, Polar Prince, waiting for weather conditions to improve. Turbine installation is likely to begin next month, with first power expected in May.