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£2bn Gwynt y Mor wind farm officially opens off Llandudno

media captionFirst Minister Carwyn Jones is heavily critical of the decision to end wind farm subsidies on land

The second biggest offshore wind farm in the world has officially opened off the north Wales coast.

The £2bn Gwynt y Mor project is already a familiar sight eight miles (13km) off Llandudno in Conwy county.

The UK Government meanwhile has announced it is to end subsidies for new onshore wind farms from April 2016.

First Minister Carwyn Jones, at Gwynt-y-Mor's opening, was scathing of the decision, saying it had created an "atmosphere of uncertainty".

Mr Jones called it a "complete and utter mess".

He has written to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), saying the decision was "ludicrous" with no consultation.

media captionIolo ap Dafydd explains Gwynt y Mor wind farm in 60 seconds
image captionThe project was first unveiled in 2003

Gwynt-y-Mor covers an area of 31 square miles (80 sq km) and includes an offshore substation, weighing 1,500 tonnes.

It has taken 12 years to get off the ground and was not without its opposition from campaigners and councillors, worried about the visual impact and its effect on tourism and the seascape.

The original proposals were scaled down and planning permission was granted in 2008 by the then Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband.

Up to 100 jobs will be created at Mostyn docks, near Holywell, Flintshire, to service the turbines.

Even larger wind farms are being built in the North Sea, with an incentive of £155 per megawatt hour from the government.

It costs twice as much to build them out to sea than it does on land.

Related Topics

  • Llandudno
  • Renewable energy
  • Colwyn Bay

More on this story

  • Earlier end to subsidies for new UK onshore wind farms

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