The Community Renewable Energy Project Award has been won by a Gower-based organisation, Gower Regeneration Ltd.
The award, sponsored by the Renewable Energy Association, is given to:“The most commendable sustainable electricity generation project undertaken by a community group across Wales and England.”
The project, Wales’s first community-owned solar farm, has 3,658 solar panels and is based on top of an old coal mine and next to a school.
It produces enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 300 homes, and all profits – estimated at more than £500,000 through the 30-year life of the project – will be reinvested in other eco-projects and education about sustainable development.
A community share offer has seen more than 400 people sign up as members, raising more than £775,000, with a projected 5% annual return to investors,
Ant Flanagan, one of the founder directors of Gower Regeneration, said: “It is a great privilege to win such a prestigious award and go into the Community Energy Hall of Fame alongside other fantastic projects.
“It is really incredible, the amount of different people and organisations that have helped make this project happen. We have had such a high level of commitment from so many of the project partners.
“I can’t list them all but I really think I ought to give a special mention to Gower Power Co-op, Gower Heritage Centre, Juno Energy, the Energy Savings Trust, Finance Wales and Robert Owen Community Finance, for being so instrumental in the project’s completion let alone a national award.
“And, of course, a massive thank you to the hundreds of individuals who have applied for community shares.”