Second round of consultation on South Hook power station plans

First published in Milford Mercury news

A second round of public exhibition events for the proposed South Hook CHP project started this week, giving local residents a chance to view plans for the plant, which could generate electricity to power 900,000 households.

The events took place at Herbrandston Village Hall, Milford Haven Rugby Club and Angle Village Hall earlier this week, with six more due to take place up to Thursday, January 24.

An update has been given with regards the way the proposal would connect to the national grid, with the intention to connect to the existing Pembroke 400kV sub-station on the south side of the Haven, adjacent to the new Pembroke Power Station.

The developers are proposing two key options for a sub-Haven crossing for the power cables, as they say they recognise the "significant visual impact" over head cables would have.

One of these options is to use cables laid in the bed of the Haven, with the other option being the use of a tunnel, with the cables passing through. The developers said neither option was likely to involve "significant use" of overhead lines.

South Hook CHP said only one in seven respondents to its first consultation, which ran in September and October last year, had "expressed opposition" to the project.

A total of 304 people attended the events with just over half of those filling out feedback forms. Less than half of those people had concerns over the location of the plant, while only 29% expressed a preference for one of the two identified sites.

As a result of this, and consultation with relevant authorities, the western site has been identified as the preferred option by the developers.

In the first consultation, many people were opposed to pumping warm water from the plant directly into the Haven waterway. This has led to 'fin fan' cooling towers, which work in a similar way to a car radiator being identified as the standby cooling method of choice.

Generally, respondents had expressed concerns over the visual impact of the project, with the developers saying responding to these concerns was a "priority".

The project schedule says the aim is to have the planning and environmental permit applications submitted in the first half of this year, with a decision expected in 2014. If successful, construction would be planned for 2014, with the plant becoming operational in 2017.

For more information and to view the project documents visit www.SouthHookCHP.com.

Hard copies can be viewed at County Hall, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's Pembroke Dock base and local libraries.

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