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Some turbines on the site would be among the tallest in the UK, up to 250m (820ft)

A new onshore wind farm could help Wales reach its net zero target by 2050, developers say.

But some locals have called the Y Bryn plan between Port Talbot and Maesteg a “landscape degradation”.

The plan, first proposed in 2021, now includes 18 turbines up to 250m (820ft), instead of the original 26.

The Welsh Government is committed to reducing carbon emissions and has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The proposed turbines would be among the tallest in the UK. By comparison, the tallest building in Wales is The Tower in Swansea at 107m (351ft).

The plans are now available again for public consultation, but local opposition groups have expressed concerns about the size and number of turbines.

Activist Phil Morgan said: “My daughter is fifth generation here.

“It’s a healthy place. I spend a lot of time walking and foraging in this area and it would be a shame to see it basically culled and dug up for these follies, these white elephants.”

Rhodri Williams, who is on the local residents action group, said the area was already contributing to the net zero goal.

“We have more than our fair share of wind farms around this area,” he said.

“They should look to offshore because that is where the greatest potential is and the offshore turbine can produce twice as much energy as an onshore turbine.

“It’s a quick fix here and we’re being used as a dumping ground for our neighbors’ energy needs.”

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Delyth Keating fears the effect on tourism in the area

Another resident, Delyth Keating, said she was concerned the turbines could impact a growing tourism industry.

“We are a world area for mountain bikes – they come from all over the world,” he said.

“People actually travel here and stay in the local area. If we don’t have access to the mountain, which we will be denied access to during construction, people will stop coming here and find somewhere else to go, so local business will lose.”

But Sara Powell, for the developer, Coriolis Energy, said: “Onshore wind farms have such an important role to play in making sure we meet our net zero targets that we can’t ignore it.

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“Onshore wind farms have such an important role to play in… net zero,” says Sara Powell, for developer Coriolis Energy

“We have very ambitious targets and electricity demand will double in the next few years, so we have to tackle this problem.”

The developer also said that the local community would benefit from the wind farm’s offer of employment opportunities.

He also has a deal with a number of local groups who he says would help provide contributions worth millions of pounds to nearby communities.

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Opponents of the wind farm have made their feelings known in the area

One of them, Awel Aman Tawe (AAT), is a community energy charity which has developed and operates two community-owned wind turbines in Pontardawe, in the Swansea Valley.

Its manager Daniel McCallum said it was important to look at wind power where possible and sites like Y Bryn “are vital for us to develop our energy security which means Wales needs to produce its own electricity”.

In Bryn village, residents who oppose the development said they have heard of green energy and are aware of the need for renewable energy, but are still concerned for their wildlife and the local environment.

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“Why not put them out to sea, on the Swansea Weir?” says resident Dianne Thomas

Dianne Thomas, whose bungalow overlooks the site, said: ‘Do we need wind farms when there are alternatives?

‘Why not put them out to sea, on the Swansea Weir? Why put them in a small village where we’ll see them, hear them and I think they could have a huge impact on our mental health, which is very important.’

The developer said that once the statutory consultation is complete, a full planning application could be submitted later this year.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We need a range of technologies, at different scales, to meet our future electricity needs as we move towards a net-zero energy system.

“Onshore and offshore wind are cost-effective options for generating electricity and have a clear role to play.”

The spokesman said the Welsh Government wanted Wales to be “at the forefront of marine renewable energy”.

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