This piece has been off / on for a while, due to other matters cropping up to grab my attention. But in the end, it worked out, because new information is emerging all the time.
To avoid going over too much old ground I shall devote most of this piece to what’s new. Those wanting more information on what’s gone before can type ‘Bute Energy’ in the search box atop the sidebar.
The whole article, including quoted passages, is roughly 3,000 words, so rather than gulp it down in one you can take it a piece at a time. You know it makes sense!
BUTE ENERGY, A SHORT RÉSUMÉ
In recent years I’ve written a lot about Bute Energy and the various companies under that umbrella. This ever-expanding empire began life in London, at 20 Primrose Street, otherwise known as the Broadgate Tower in the City.
Then it used an address in Edinburgh’s New Town (above Gant), probably because the principals, Oliver James Millican, Stuart Allan George and Lawson Douglas Steele, seem to be Scottish, or resident in Scotland.
But over the past year we’ve seen use made of an address at Hodge House in Cardiff. This being a desperate but unconvincing attempt to suggest that Bute is a Welsh company.
“Pass the bara brith, Blodwen, indeed to goodness, look you!”
This change of address simply means that the invitations to meet ‘Russian brides’, the 50p off! at Tesco vouchers, and the Vote for Dai Scroggins election leaflets get delivered to Sir Julian’s old gaff.
And let’s not forget the overseas investment, for Bute is in partnership with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The name says ‘Copenhagen’, but the money could be coming from anywhere.
Bute Energy, through a host of companies, many carrying the name of a specific project – such as Bryn Glas Energy Park Ltd – wants to build ‘Energy Parks’ the length of Wales; twenty-three at the latest count. These locations may also include solar arrays, and even hydrogen whatsits.
The map below is my best guess of where these wind farms are. I may have mis-located one or two.
Opposition has been mounting for some time to Bute’s grand designs, but resistance has tended to be localised, confined to areas immediately affected by one of the few projects for which Bute has revealed its plans.
But most of the sites remain little more than Companies House entries offering the bare minimum of information.
Resistance increased a while ago when news broke that Bute wanted to bring power from its ‘Nant Mithil’ (Radnor Forest) site along 60 miles of pylons to link up with the grid running east from Pembroke power station.
If we accept the route map produced by Bute, then the connection with the grid is to be made somewhere south of Carmarthen town.
Though when asked exactly where the connection is to be made, at a ‘Have Your Say’ meeting in the RWS showground, Llanelwedd, Bute head honcho, Millican, was unable to answer.
So let’s see if I can fill in any gaps.
What follows will be in some kind of chronological order; which means I’ve tried to present the fresh evidence in the order it became known to me.
LAND USE CONSULTANTS AND OTHERS
This first item takes us back a couple of years, but it seems to have been overlooked. It cropped up in this tweet from April 2021. (The link is broken.)
Land Use Consultants was formed by Edward Max Nicholson in 1966. Five years earlier, with Sir Peter Scott and others, he set up the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). I guess LUC has been recruited in another attempt to burnish Bute’s environmental credentials.
Bute and LUC were together at the ‘inception meeting’ last December with ‘Welsh Government’s Planning & Environmental Decisions outfit to discuss the ‘Nant Mithil Grid Connection Project‘ (page 6).
Intriguingly, LUC has been involved with the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ since at least 2010. As shown by this report, Research: Planning Implications of Renewable and Low Carbon Energy.
Though for other projects Bute seems to employ different planning consultants. For the Nant Mithil site itself it’s David Bell Planning, of Edinburgh; for Llyn Lort it seems to be Carney Sweeney, of Birmingham; and for Rhiwlas it’s RSK, of Cheshire.
LUC also seems to be picking up other work in Wales. I know it’s working with Natural Resources Wales on the Dark Skies project.
Which makes perfect sense. Because with the Corruption Bay Clown Show determined to switch to Unreliables it won’t be long before we shan’t need to travel to darkest Powys to escape ‘light pollution’.
TWO NEW ‘ENERGY PARKS’
Orddu is one of the new sites. As you can see on the map above, the nearest town is Bala. To be more precise, Orddu is north east of Bala and sits above the smallholding of Cwm-cywen in Cwm Main, where my father-in-law was born and raised.
A company has been formed with the usual three directors. Here’s the Companies House entry.
The other new energy park, Moel Chwa, is across the A5 and just to the east of another Bute site at Mwdwl-eithin. At the time of writing there is no company bearing the Moel Chwa name, but there is a website mention.
The Companies House entry for Nant Bach Turbine Ltd suggests Clean Earth erected just a single turbine. Which the filed accounts value at £2,273,106, giving some idea of the kind of money we’re talking about.
GRIDS & NETWORKS
As I mentioned, opposition to Bute’s ambitions got a boost with news of the plan for 60 miles of pylons from Nant Mithill (Radnor Forest) to the west-east grid connection near Carmarthen.
This has been linked with Bute’s Green Generation Energy Networks Cymru Ltd.
It’s also being suggested that, in a belated attempt to make up for the past two decades in which they encouraged foreign companies – many government owned – to exploit Wales with no local returns, ‘Welsh’ Labour is now pretending it can create something like a Welsh national grid.
The announcement I just linked to came a few days after the Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee produced ‘Grid capacity in Wales’.
And while neither document mentioned Bute Energy, many observers believe that Bute Energy is heavily involved. Some believe Bute will build Julie James’ ‘Welsh grid’.
For naked corruption would be the only other interpretation for the very close, and financially lucrative, links between Bute and a number of ‘Welsh’ Labour insiders.
But then, confusion abounds on the subject of networks, with Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, as confused as anyone, according to a knowledgeable contact. For this source suggests she doesn’t understand there are two different types of grid.
My source explains the difference here.
We know that Bute wants new pylons from the Radnor Forest to somewhere in the vicinity of Carmarthen, and to then take that power to Usk and over the border. This it calls “Phase 1“.
It’s suggested Phase 2 (and another line of pylons?) will start somewhere near Eisteddfa Gurig, close to the A44, inland of Aberystwyth, and run to (and here I quote my source) “Chirk Grid Supply Point’ (as yet unbuilt)“.
Although Phase 2 is still a bit hazy, there would appear to be confirmation out there. According to the documents reproduced below, Bute projects in west central and northern Wales will run to the as yet unbuilt Chirk GSP.
References to ‘Chirk’ obviously cause confusion because Chirk GSP doesn’t exist. But what does exist is not far away at Lower Frankton. The problem here being that Lower Frankton is in Shropshire.
On this OS map the border is in purple, it shows Chirk as just about the nearest point, in Wales, to Lower Frankton. So is Lower Frankton being called Chirk to pretend it’s in Wales, and therefore boost Wales’ Net Zero credentials?
Further evidence of grid ambitions came a few weeks back with the Infrastructure (Wales) Bill. You’ll see it talks of making it easier for the James Gang to give consent for “overhead electric lines”.
There are also links with Ireland. One comes up near Bodelwyddan, inland of Abergele. Then there’s the Greenlink Interconnector, ensuring that “Excess power can be shared between Ireland and the UK”.
Finally, let’s look at a link from Scotland. Nation.Cymru reported this last November, and parroted the National Grid’s press handout about it being to “upgrade Wales’ electricity network and take advantage of offshore power“.
In fact, and to get technical, I hear work has started on the Bangor (Pentir) to Swansea (North) 400kv double-circuit pylon line.
Let Uncle Jac explain this one . . .
England needs more electricity . . . but not the turbines and the pylons. So the turbines are in Scotland, the cables carrying the electricity run under the Irish Sea, come ashore near Bangor, go overland to Swansea, where they join the west-east line from Pembroke, and then on to England.
As my well-informed source put it, “The two grid connections out of south Wales into England currently have no constraints so it appears as if Wales is being used as a ‘transmission corridor’ from Scotland to England”.
NEWS FROM SCOTLAND
A couple of weeks ago I had an e-mail from Glasgow. As you know, I get lots of e-mails, but this is worth mentioning because it suggests that this source is keeping an eye on Bute’s operations in Scotland.
Before I tell you what it says, I’d better identify some of those mentioned.
Erik Bonino was an oil executive who joined Bute in July 2020 but left early this year due to alleged naughtiness by Bute in Senghenydd. Or that’s how I heard it.
The story made it into Llais y Sais, where Shippo covered it.
David James Taylor was spad to Rhodri Morgan, Peter Hain and Carwyn Jones. He has profited greatly from being Bute’s entry to ‘Welsh Government’.
You’ll see that the source suggests Taylor has been replaced by the fragrant Sophie Howe, the former Future Generations Commissioner. This would fit well with her new job with Lynn. (Until May last year, ‘Lynn PR Ltd’.)
Sophie Howe has landed on her feet, again, due to her manifest and dazzling talents. Her raking it in, again, is completely unconnected with knowing everybody worth knowing in ‘Welsh Government’, ‘Welsh’ Labour, and civil service.
Happy to clear that up.
By “Reece Emmett” I think my source means Reece Emmitt. (Here in pdf format.) Though I can’t see any obvious connection with the Labour party. But after 5 years in Cardiff University that can be almost guaranteed.
There have been big divisions in Bute management. Chairman Erik Bonino lost a power struggle with Oliver Millican, the majority shareholder, now Bonino and his allies have been cleared out.
Team Millican: Stuart George, Lawson Steele, Gareth Williams.
Team Bonino: Mark Vyvyan Robinson, Gemma Hamilton, David Taylor.
Bonino was known to be nervous and raised concerns about unethical practices regarding securing land and some of the heavy legal agreements and gagging orders Bute were trying to impose on landowners and residents. He was concerned only about his own image and reputation though not about the welfare of the landowners and communities. He was also nervous about all the bad publicity Bute were getting generally and how it was impacting on him.
Bonino recruited Mark Vyvyan Robinson from EDF (where he had been for 20 years) as CEO but he left shortly after a few months. Gemma Hamilton (development director) David Taylor (comms director) were both in same camp and left soon after along with Bonino. and some junior staff.
Millican made himself chairman and installed his sidekick Stuart George as Managing Director. Both are woefully inexperienced and the whole operation is now considered a joke in the industry.
They brought in Derek Hastings from SSE to replace Gemma Hamilton. They basically are paying people 3x what they get elsewhere which is how they recruit people.
They are throwing money around and recently brought in two people to replace DT: Sophie Howe as an “adviser” to help with Welsh govt / Labour link. And Aled Rowlands a former aide to Nick Bourne to try and sort the Tories. Obviously that is failing badly cos the Welsh Tories hate Bourne.
Also Reece Emmett ex Welsh Labour apparatchik is in the comms team.
I suppose we’d better start this section with the ANTZ Cymru website’s announcement of the link-up with Bute Energy. Which prompts a few comments.
First, there is no entity called ANTZ Cymru, it’s a flag of convenience for ANTZ UK Ltd of Manchester. Realising there’s money to be made in Wales ANTZ is another company that has adopted a faux Welsh identity.
A good source in Powys, sees parallels between ANTZ and something called the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). Which says of itself, “We are the original Nudge Unit”. BIT is an international outfit with its UK office in Manchester.
Here’s a BIT website page to which I was directed called ‘How to build a Net Zero society’. I was also nudged (geddit!) in the direction of, ‘A Manifesto for Applying Behavioral (sic) Science’.
And then, from 2010, we have ‘Mindspace‘, focusing on “influencing behaviour“.
This all begins to sound like getting people to think the way you want them to think. To accept that black is white. Dare we say – brainwashing?
Will we see people stumbling out of village halls repeating, “Wind turbines are nice . . . I love pylons . . . Mark Drakeford is the most gifted and accomplished politician of his era”.
An exaggeration, I confess, but we are talking of mind games here. Getting people to think a certain way, and then there’s the careful use of language. Here’s a couple of gems from the page announcing the partnership.
We read: “ANTZ Cymru is developing a bespoke person-centred, Social Value monitoring system on behalf of Bute Energy that tracks the individual.”
Tracks the individual! What the hell does that mean?
Then there’s this, “The renewable energy team at Bute Energy is planning to deliver a family of wind and solar farms across Wales”. A family!
“Oh look, children – there’s Daddy wind turbine, and there’s Mammy wind turbine, and all the little – 820ft! – baby wind turbines”.
Did you ever read such bollocks?
How much is Bute paying ANTZ? To judge by what my Scottish contact told us, it’s probably well over the odds.
As I’ve explained, Bute goes to great lengths in attempts to prove it’s a Welsh company serving Wales. As I hope I’ve made clear, what Bute and others are actually doing is exploiting the complicity of the Corruption Bay buffoons to turn Wales into a vast open-air power station for England.
If the wind farms planned and mooted ever get built, then Wales, apart from national parks and built-up areas, will be covered in turbines and pylons. All happening in a country that already produces more electricity than she needs!
I was encouraged therefore to read that the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has reported Bute to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making misleading claims.
Point 1 of the complaint (below) sums it up. Electricity produced in Wales goes into the UK national grid and thence to wherever it’s needed. Bute therefore cannot promise to supply Welsh homes with green energy.
Well done, Ross Evans and CPRW. And the very best of luck.
CONCLUSION: THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
What you’ve read might make you despair, but that’s because you’ve been reading about Wales. Elsewhere, things seem to be looking up.
But perhaps not in Germany. Or not yet.
Though Siemens has taken a hit recently due to component problems in Siemens Gamesa wind turbines. But many believe the problems are more widespread. Not least because the components used by Gamesa are used by other manufacturers.
In fact, the German economy is in trouble. Over-reliance on Russian gas – which NATO sabotaged – closing its last three nuclear power plants, and going hell-for-leather on ‘Renewables’ hasn’t helped.
But the Germans aren’t stupid. They’ll soon realise their mistake.
Which is what appears to have happened in Sweden, where the news is much more encouraging. The government there has turned its back on the unattainable goal of 100% renewable energy. What will Greta say!
While next door, in Norway, we read . . .
The fact is that Western governments, under pressure from the public and the dictates of common sense, are starting to reject the Globalists’ degrowth agenda and their stooges’ insistence on Net Zero.
Yet as some countries wake up to the cost of Net Zero others continue to sleepwalk towards disaster. Unfortunately, we live in one. And it has consequences.
Just before last Christmas Tata put out a press release saying it would ‘pause’ operations at its Port Talbot steel plant, the largest in Europe, and its tinplate operation at Trostre, in Llanelli, “to reduce strain on grid”.
As we are forced to depend more and more on Unreliables the electricity supply will become more erratic; and that means jobs paying good wages, like the thousands at Margam and Trostre, will be lost.
An absurd price to pay for the unattainable goal of 100% of electricity from ‘renewables’ – in order to fight a ‘climate crisis’ that’s not happening! The only beneficiaries are the governments, corporations, and investors owning the wind turbines on our soil.
And so every wind farm and pylon run should be treated as another Tryweryn. For they mean Cymru being exploited to satisfy the greed of strangers. And to keep the lights on in England.
♦ end ♦