Egni, a Welsh co-op which develops rooftop solar energy, has been working with Regenerate NPT, a partnership set up by the local authority in Neath Port Talbot to develop renewable energy in the borough.
Five sites in the borough have been commissioned – Cymer Library, Cwmgors Rugby Club, Cwmllynfell Hall, Crynant Community Hall and Hwb y Gors – and sixth 50kW project is to be installed at Cymer Pool in the next few weeks.
Capital costs of the solar panel installations came from Egni’s share offer which has so far raised £1.9m so far. The co-op has also received feasibility funding under the EU’s Leader initiative to support rural development.
Egni director Rosie Gillam said: “A total of 137kW of solar have been installed – this will save about 26 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The solar panels will also save many thousands of pounds in energy costs for these crucial local buildings.
“Community facilities such as Cymer Afan Library are vital – one of the many important things they do is provide a food bank during the coronavirus – so all money saved on bills, helps ensure their sustainability.
“Community facilities such as Cymer Afan Library are vital – one of the many things they do is provide a food bank during the coronavirus – so all money saved on bills, helps ensure their sustainability.”
Regenerate NPT chair Len Preece said: “These are key community hubs which we are delighted to support with clean energy.
“Leader funding has helped leverage in over £150,000 of capital funding to fit the solar panels.
“The six sites offer a range of support to their local communities including: youth clubs, gyms, sports halls and education and training facilities.
“Many of these organisations are run and/or managed by the communities and their volunteers, so it’s wonderful that we have been able to support them in this way.”
Egni co-director Dan McCallum said: “We’d like to thank the six community organisations themselves and Neath Port Talbot Council who own several of the sites – there’s been a lot of work sorting out leases, doing asbestos surveys, structural surveys, getting agreement from the grid operator Western Power Distribution, to get to this point of successful installs.
“Our installers on these sites, Ice Power and Urban Solar, have also been excellent throughout and have done high quality work.”