Protecting our Landscape from Large Scale Pylons

Protecting our Landscape from Large Scale Pylons

Updated: May 2024

A substantial number of local residents have contacted me with their concerns about Bute Energy and Green GEN Cymru’s plans to develop a new windfarm and substation within Montgomeryshire, which would see up to 25 large wind turbines built.

Currently, as there is no National Grid infrastructure capable of collecting and distributing generated power, Green GEN Cymru have proposed a substation which would connect energy parks through large lattice pylons and a new 132kv overhead line through parts of North Powys. This would be linked to the main grid connection in Shropshire.

Many will remember previous large-scale windfarm proposals of a decade ago, where our communities reacted in force against the total lack of consideration and empathy for residents and landscapes shown by National Grid and developers. It is vital that renewable energy companies ensure that they take communities with them, rather than imposing projects upon Mid Wales.

Craig Williams MP and I have attended public meetings, including a well-attended meeting in Meifod. It is important that people keep attending public meetings, consultation events and respond to any consultation by the developers.

Whilst, it is important that that as our power needs increase and more renewable power sources come online, such as farm scale renewables, that we do have improved grid connections. However, the line proposed would do little to help such projects in Mid Wales.

These proposals specifically refer to an overhead as opposed to underground connection. It is important to keep in mind that undergrounding cables is also not without its issues. I have concerns that there could be further constructed pylon lines through the Vyrnwy Valley and other areas. 

Furthermore, the size of newly proposed wind turbines is a concern. Using huge offshore scale turbines onshore, is not appropriate for our landscape. The industrialisation of our landscape with large-scale windfarms and pylons criss-crossing mid Wales hills and valleys is not acceptable.

I have also been alarmed by reports that Bute Energy subsidiaries illegally accessing land within Montgomeryshire without consent or legal permission. In addition to this, several landowners have in recent months been issued with threatening notices demanding access to land and properties, in order to carry out surveys for proposed pylon routes. This is unacceptable and alongside Craig Williams MP, we have written to the Chairman of the Bute Energy Group to demand an urgent meeting. We are requesting an urgent meeting with Oliver Millican, the Chairman of the Bute Energy Group, given that Bute and GreenGEN Cymru appear to be acting without the necessary legal or planning permissions in attempting to access land.

The people of Montgomeryshire have fought hard over the past decade to campaign against large scale pylons to protect our beautiful landscape.  We must be ready to oppose any further inappropriate plans.


Russell George MS and Craig Williams MPs full letter to the Chairman of Bute Energy:

Mr Oliver Millican


Bute Energy


Dear Mr Millican,


We recently met with your Managing Director, Stuart George and Community Director, Catryn Davies. During our meeting, we conveyed our discomfort with the aggressive way your company is surveying landowners and attempting to access land against their will, especially as you do not have an Independent Distribution Network Operator license (IDNO).


We now find ourselves compelled to write to you directly due to a further incident of illegal access onto land within my constituency yesterday, during which we are informed that one of your subsidiaries – GreenGEN Cymru, accessed land without any permission or warrant.


Such incidents are in addition the aggressive issuance of Section 172 notices to landowners within my constituency, for which a legal or statutory basis appears to be notably absent. GreenGEN Cymru, as I understand, is not yet a licensed IDNO and consequently lacks the statutory powers under the Electricity Act that might justify such actions. Additionally, your company has not secured any form of planning permissions that would sanction these intrusions.


We and our constituents are left to perceive GreenGEN Cymru's intentions as purely speculative, possessing no greater legal right to access land than any other entity. This is particularly troubling given previous assurances we received that Bute Energy was making great strides in improving its engagement practices with communities and stakeholders.


Given these serious circumstances, we are now requesting an urgent meeting with you in your capacity as Chairman and majority shareholder of Bute Energy, to discuss these matters directly and convey the deep concerns of our constituents in person. We would be grateful for such a meeting to take place at your earliest convenience.


We are also copying this letter to Ofgem and to the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. Given the current Ofgem consultation into GreenGEN Cymru’s application for a IDNO license, their actions should be highlighted as it is clear they regard its granting as a mere formality.


We trust you will treat this request with the urgency and seriousness it warrants.


Yours sincerely,


Rt Hon Craig Williams MP

Russell George MS