Next week could prove a monumental occasion for Cardiff-based renewable energy developers Eco2, with up to three important planning hearings for its projects.

On Wednesday, the company should have its Pendragon Fach Wind Energy Project determined by planners in Blaenau Gwent, a project that has been downsized from a 31MW project to a 5MW project to suit planning policies. And, the company's 37MW Mynydd y Betws wind farm near Swansea could see a decision by the planning inspectors at some point next week, after the project was called in by the Welsh Assembly despite local planning approval.

But perhaps most important of all, the company's £100 million biomass-powered proposal for Sleaford is expected to be assessed by planners in Lincolnshire on Tuesday. The project based on a facility designed to use locally-produced straw to generate 40MW of power is the first step of a £1 billion programme for Eco2 to develop as many as 10 such plants around Europe.

David Williams, the chief executive who formed the company as primarily a wind energy development firm in 2002, is now very much focussed on a biomass future. "Our major drive is now biomass," he said. "We are completing what's left of our wind portfolio and moving on."


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