Gwrhyd Solar/Battery

We are hoping to install a ground mounted solar farm and battery storage adjacent to the wind turbines. This will make more efficient use of our grid connection – the wind turbines are producing lots of energy in the winter but not in the summer. So we are not making full use of our grid connection of upto 4.7MW. We are looking to install the solar on private fields not on the common.

We also think it’ll make our project more interesting for visitors (over 500 to date including 3 schools) as they’ll be able to see different forms of renewables and how they work together.

Our consultants on this project are Dulas who have lots of experience in all renewables. We have commissioned studies from an ecologist, archaeologist and landscape architect to assess the impact of the project ready for a planning application which we hope to submit in September this year.  We have started public consultation and will be continuing this during the planning process – if you’d like to make a comment, please complete the form on this website or email us on info@awelamantawe.co.uk.

We are working with Western Power Distribution (WPD) as we are not allowed to export more the 4.7MW from the wind and solar. This means there have to be communication links and controls in place which are acceptable to WPD and to the funders of the wind turbines (Triodos Bank and members of Awel Co-op) so that their investment is protected. We are currently assessing the half hourly data from the turbines to see how often we would have had to curtail production from the solar to keep within our 4.7MW export limit.

We are also looking to install upto 10MW of battery storage. It’s clear that we need to find ways of storing energy from renewables and export it during periods of peak demand. If our solar takes our site above 4.7MW and we can’t put it on the grid, it makes sense to store that power until we can export or when the solar isn’t generating at night. We may also look to import energy from the grid and store it in our batteries until it makes sense to export it back – the grid in South Wales has reached its limits due to the expansion of renewables so we need to find ways of increasing capacity on the grid. Policy on battery storage is evolving fast and we want community energy to be engaged in that debate.

This work is funded by Welsh Government’s Local Energy Programme, Neath Port Talbot Rural Development Programme and Awel Aman Tawe.

We’ll be updating this page as specialist reports come in from our consultants. You can see  the the proposed location here..Our draft Design and Access Statement can be downloaded here