The Awel Coop community wind farm project near Swansea has been nominated in the ‘Community-Led Placemaking’ category at the 2017 Planning Awards.
The annual awards recognise outstanding work in areas such as infrastructure planning, stakeholder engagement and planning permissions, as well as placemaking, urban design, economic development, housing, regeneration, legal advice and environmental consulting.
Dan McCallum, Director said “We are delighted to be shortlisted. It took us 18 years to get this project through planning and built. It is important that the planning system takes more account of community placemaking as this was our vision right from the start. We wanted to harness a local asset, wind, to enable local regeneration. It’s wonderful now to see our turbines in place, generating clean power and we want to encourage more people to visit our site. We’re having an Open Day on July 4th between 4 – 8pm. Anyone is welcome to attend – please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01639 830870 to reserve a place. Wind-powered tea, coffee and welshcakes will be available!”
Owned by local Awel Co-op, the project consists of two 2.35MWh Enercon wind turbines which began production in January and are expected to generate an estimated 12,558 MWh of clean, low carbon, energy a year, enough to supply over 2000 homes.
The wind farm, which is located on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, close to the town of Pontardawe and about 20 miles north of Swansea, recently secured one of the largest investments ever seen in the Amman Valley; a 15-year, £5.25m investment from Triodos, Europe’s leading sustainable bank.
Dan added “In addition to Triodos, we want to thank our advisors who worked hard with us over many years to secure planning permission – Dulas, ADAS and our legal team at Burges Salmon.”
The co-op has also raised a further £2.3m through a local share offer, the largest ever in Wales. The share offer is aiming to raise £3m in total before the end of July which will enable it to refinance a Welsh Government loan.
The project is backed by Hollywood star, Michael Sheen, who hails from Port Talbot; Welsh rugby legend Paul Thorburn; National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke; and Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Energy in Machynlleth, Powys.
The winners will be announced at Savoy Place in London on Wednesday 21st June.