Community-owned solar farm powers up Swansea area

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RESIDENTS and businesses in the Swansea area can now buy renewable electricity generated from a nearby community-owned solar farm.

Electricity produced by the Gower Power Solar Storage scheme, funded by Welsh Government and European Regional Development Funds, will be stored and fed onto the local grid when needed, and if the demand from its customers is too great, top-ups from other renewable sources will keep the power flowing.

Bristol Energy handle the technicalities of switching, billing and account management for the solar plant.

Simon Proctor, Head of Renewables at Bristol Energy, commented on the collaboration: “On our journey to becoming a wholly green energy supplier, it’s hugely important to Bristol Energy that we continue to work on innovative projects, such as Gower Power, through our Purchase Power Agreements; purchasing renewable electricity sourced directly from generators in Wales, and across the UK.

“As well as 100% green, fairly priced electricity and excellent customer service, residents who switch to Bristol Energy are committing to supporting their local community, as profits of the Gower Power project stay in the area.

“We’re proud to play a part in this exciting next phase of the Gower Power project and welcome customers looking to go green and support local.”

With the addition of a Tesla battery, secured with the funding from Welsh Government, the farm will soon be able to store and distribute green electricity.

Ant Flanagan, co-founder of Gower Power, added: “It is extremely exciting getting the first of many of these local storage and supply schemes underway. We’re really pleased to have created a way of helping communities lock in more benefits from local renewable energy assets local to them.”

The solar farm owner, Gower Regeneration Ltd, became the first community-owned solar farm in Wales in 2017.

The six-acre solar farm attracted 415 investors purchasing over £900,000 worth of shares, seeing the project win the year’s Community Renewable Energy Project Award for ‘The most commendable sustainable electricity generation project undertaken by a community group across Wales and England.’

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