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Project summary

Name of the case study
North Hoyle Offshore wind farm

Where is it located?

What type of activity is it?
New development.

Short description of the case study

The North Hoyle Offshore wind farm, located off the North Wales coast, is the UK’s first major offshore wind farm. Constructed between April and November 2003, the 30 turbine wind farm produces electricity for up to 50,000 homes each year, and prevents the release of about 160,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The turbines are approximately 7.5 km (4 nautical miles) from the North Wales coast, and a maximum height of 130 m above Mean Sea Level.

Installation of a wind turbine at North Hoyle off the coast of North Wales. Overhead photograph of North Hoyle illustrating the layout of the turbines
Installation of a wind turbine at North Hoyle (left) and an overhead photograph of North Hoyle illustrating the layout of the turbines (right)

The main driver for this development is to reduce the use of fossil fuels such as carbon dioxide when used to generate energy. One of the major causes of global warming and climate change is the emission of large volumes of the gas carbon dioxide (CO2). Every unit of electricity generated from the wind, replaces a unit that would otherwise have been generated by a fossil fuel power station, thus helping to reduce CO2 emissions and combat climate change.

A number of tools were used by National Wind Power during the development stages of the project. The statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was applied, along with a Socio-economic Impact Assessment. From the early stages of the project National Wind Power were eager to keep the public informed and involved, and their participation methods have involved the use of visual assessment through photo montages to assist residents to visualise what the development would look like. The Countryside Council for Wales’s (CCW) National Seascape Strategy was also used to investigate the impact on the existing coast line and structure.

This case study is related to two PETUS energy key issues: The visual impact of energy supply systems and the ownership of renewable energy sources to gain public support.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) Seascape Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);

Public participation including visual assessment (photo montage)

Socio-economic Impact Assessment (SEIA);

More information

Click here for a full description (pdf)