Abergwaun Community Turbine
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In the summer of 2011, Transition Bro Gwaun, with support from the Welsh Government’s community renewables programme, Ynni’r Fro, and in partnership with Parc-y-Morfa Farms Ltd, initiated a joint venture project on land adjacent to Fishguard, where the turbine now stands.
Following feasibility work, a planning application was submitted in August 2013 for a 250KW turbine with a mast height of 30m and blade diameter of 30m. Although initially refused, permission was granted on appeal in August 2014. Raising the £285,000 needed for TBG’s 50% share of the project proved easier than expected, the whole amount being lent by 29 individuals and 3 local community groups within five months.
It took four months from ordering an Endurance X-29 225kW turbine to commissioning on 27th August 2015. Since then, generation has averaged much as predicted, 590,000 KWh per year, which is equivalent to the average electricity consumption of 150 homes. As compared to fossil fuelled generation, carbon savings lessen as more renewables supply the grid; as of 2022, savings amount to circa 180 tonnes of CO² per annum. Six months of production was lost in 2018 due to a gear box fault; fortunately, financial loss was minimal due to insurance cover, but cover is no longer available.
OCTOBER 2021 UPDATE
3,411,401 kwh of clean energy produced by 26/09/2021
The export price of electricity (to the grid) for the first six years was remarkably stable, rising from 3.5 to 5.5 pence/kwh.
In October 2021 our twelve month contract was renewed at 16 pence/kwh, and TBG was able to repay all the remaining loans during 2022!
Since then the turbine Income has provided £15,000.00 to the 1st round of our Community Climate Fund and £42,000 to the 2nd round.
Since October 2022, on a variable price contract, export has averaged 13.7 pence/kwh. Selling power to local consumers through an Energy Club is still our ambition; to date regulations prohibit this in association with generators over 100kw.
We are currently investigating the possibility of replacing the turbine with a larger and more reliable machine.
TBG is happy to share its experience with other community groups, please contact Transition Bro Gwaun for more details.
Advice and Support
If you’re interested in setting up your own renewable energy system we have created a brief summary of support and resources:
Watch to find out more about our energy projects
Video Link Film by Sustainable Wales
Video Link Shine a Light