PLANS for undergrounding cables in relation to new electricity cables should be the preferred method according to Plaid Cymru.

At Plaid Cymru’s recent autumn conference, a motion to call for undergrounding of cables as the preferred method for electricity distribution in Wales was made by the representatives of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

The constituency includes the planned pylons along the Towy Valley to connect the Nant Mithil energy park to the National Grid in Carmarthen, where residents, politicians and campaigners have all opposed the plans by Bute Energy, instead calling for the cables to be undergrounded to not damage the beauty of the valley.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Ann Davies, who represents the Llanarthne ward on Carmarthenshire County Council and is the council’s cabinet member for rural affairs, community cohesion and planning policy. It was co-authored by Adam Price, MS for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

The motion highlighted that there is a need to improve and expand on the electric grid capacity but that ‘in the process of this expansion, that there is a critical need to ensure that infrastructure projects are carried out with careful consideration and community engagement in order to identify the requirements for a holistic system that conveys green energy to satisfy local and national demands.’

It also highlights that the negative impact on local communities along connection routes should be minimised in the short and long term in line with best practice across Europe.

The motions calls ‘for the Welsh Government to ensure that connections to the national grid are created without compromise to the natural beauty of Wales, in a manner which supports sustainability and benefit for future generations, by committing to underground cabling as opposed to the erection of pylon towers as the expected method of electricity distribution and transmission in all parts of Wales.”

It was seconded by Cefin Campbell, MS for Mid and South Wales and was backed by Plaid Cymru members.

Cllr Davies said: “I am thrilled that the motion was so well supported. There is a clear opportunity here using the latest in technological advancements to ensure that there is a compromise between ensuring the much-needed grid capacity upgrades that Wales requires, with ensuring that the concerns from local communities are heard and factored into decision making processes. This will be welcome news in Dyffryn Tywi.”

Mr Price added: “It is most welcome that the motion passed at conference. This issues a clear message on our party standpoint as the number of electrical infrastructure projects being planned in Wales grow.

“Plaid Cymru wants to ensure that connections to the national grid, which are much needed, fully ensure the minimisation of negative impacts on local communities. This is established practice internationally, and the Welsh Government can learn from a multitude of examples.”