A CONSULTATION has been launched over plans to extend North Wales’s offshore windfarm across the coast of Conwy.

Awel y Môr Offshore Windfarm is being planned by RWE Renewables (RWE) about 10.5km off the coast to the west of the existing Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.

The new collection of wind turbines, expected to be between 51 and 107 depending on their size, would cover an area of 106km2 from Colwyn Bay to Conwy. RWE expects to submit its application to the UK Government's Planning Inspectorate in 2022.

A hybrid consultation is being carried from August 31 to October 11, including a virtual exhibition via the project website and face-to-face consultations in outdoor spaces across the region.

As part of the consultation, the project’s Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) has been published, which contains detailed maps and plans, plus information on the project’s expected impacts and how they will be avoided, minimised and mitigated where possible.

RWE Renewables has also developed a virtual consultation platform for residents to view online via the project website.

A mobile exhibition will also be visit public spaces across Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd to meet with residents during September and early October.

Consultation documents will also be available in hard copy at libraries and community venues. This includes Prestatyn Library, Rhyl Library, Rhuddlan Library, St Asaph Library, Holywell Library, Colwyn Bay Library, Llandudno Library, Abergele Library, Llanfairfechan Library, Bangor Public Library, Llyfrgell Porthaethwy Library and Beaumaris Library.

Tamsyn Rowe, Awel y Môr project manager, said: “I am really excited about this project and what it could deliver, not only in terms of renewable energy but also the creation of skilled jobs and local investment opportunities.

“We really welcome your views. This is your chance to shape our proposals and help secure the best project for the area before we submit our applications for the necessary consents in 2022.”

RWE has selected the preferred siting of the transmission infrastructure with onshore cables joining the coastland between Rhyl and Prestatyn, passing through Rhuddlan to a substation in Bodelwyddan.

The proposed turbines' maximum rotor diameter would be 300m, with rocks and materials placed on the seabed to protect the branched string cables from erosion.

RWE said it will work with landowners and carry out environmental surveys for the transmission route in the coming months.