Michael Sheen has congratulated a community wind farm which is due to complete the installation of two wind turbines this week.
Michael said “It is fantastic to hear about the Awel wind farm which is located near Pontardawe in my own home patch of Neath Port Talbot. I attended and spoke at the launch of the Wales Co-op Centre’s Community Shares Unit on Friday. I enjoyed hearing the story of how Awel overcame many hurdles over the past 18 years and how we can both learn from their journey and back them as they move forwards. I hope Awel can inspire other communities across Wales that they too can utilise Welsh wind, water and sun to tackle climate change and a fairer provision of energy.”
Awel Co-op is now one of the case studies for the new Unit – the pictures of the first turbine going up at dawn on Saturday are stunning.
Dan McCallum, one of Awel’s Directors said, “Our community share offer has already raised £1.35m and it closes on November 7th. We are offering a 5% return which is much better than the banks. Our members know that their money is invested in clean green wind turbines that they can visit and touch.”
One of our members is Eric Bowen is 84. He was brought up on the Gwrhyd and worked all his life in the opencast coal mine at Tairgwaith, close to the wind farm. Eric said “I used to walk all these paths as a boy. I look forward to seeing the turbines up on the mountain. It’s good to be part of the future.” Fay Rees from Gwaun Cae Gurwen (picture, centre) said “I will enjoy watching our wind turbines from the village”
Dan added “The Welsh Government has already backed us with a £4.7m loan. People can join us from £50 and as a co-op member, it’s one person, one vote. We’d like as many people in Wales as possible to join us before November 7th. You can download an application form on www.awel.coop or phone 01639 830870 to get one in the post. ”
Dawn pictures by Awel member, Mike Harrison who lives in Gwaun Cae Gurwen, http://www.mikeharrison-dp.co.uk. All pictures may be reproduced, but please credit Mike Harrison