Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm officially opens

Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm Image copyright Vattenfall
Image caption Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm began generating electricity for the first time last autumn

It is important for Wales to continue investing in renewable energy, according to the environment secretary.

Lesley Griffiths made comments before Wales' biggest onshore wind farm was officially opened in south Wales on Thursday.

There are 76 turbines at the £365m Pen y Cymoedd site built between Neath and Aberdare.

The Welsh Government wants 70% of electricity to come from renewables by 2030, up from its current rate of 32%.

"We know that this is the sort of energy we need to see going forward," Ms Griffiths told the Good Morning Wales programme on BBC Radio Wales.

"People know that we need to move away from fossil fuel. We need to look at all the technologies coming forward to make sure that's part of our decarbonisation pathway.

"We need to make sure our infrastructure is correct. We can't do it on our own.

"We need to be working with the UK government, the energy regulator, Ofgem, network owners and operators."

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Media captionFirst Minister Carwyn Jones defended the Welsh Government's renewable electricity target

Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm began generating electricity for the first time last autumn.

In an average year, it will produce enough electricity to power around 15% of Welsh households.

It will be run by 23 technicians and support staff.

Swedish energy group Vattenfall, which built the wind farm, said over £220m in investment had been spent in Wales, securing work for more than 1,000 workers over the past three years.

Boss Magnus Hall said: "Pen-y-Cymoedd boosts Wales' drive to carbon reduction, it accelerates Vattenfall's shift to be fossil free in a generation and it helps the Welsh economy to grow."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "I am pleased we were able to support this project, which has shown how the local community, the Welsh economy and people right across the country can benefit from such a scheme."

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