Welsh solar farm named community renewable project of the year

Gower Regeneration produces enough energy for 300 homes and reinvests its profits into education and other eco-projects

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.

Ant Flanagan from Gower Regeneration at the awards event with Dr Nina Skorupska, CEO of the Renewable Energy Association

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.

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“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.”

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