Wales’ First Solar Park Set to Start Generating Electricity
Wales’ first solar farm park, a £2.5 million investment at the Rhosygilwen estate in Pembrokeshire, will soon be generating its own electricity.
Set to be online three weeks before the 1 August deadline, when the UK government lowers the subsidy for large-scale solar panel investors, the site is owned by Western Solar and will be run by Dr Glen Peters, who owns Rhosygilwen mansion and art centre.
Dr Peters, who owns the land and the nearby county mansion and art centre, has funded the project. Almost 10,000 solar panels have been imported from the United States. Originally planning consent had been given for a development twice the size. The site’s owner Western Solar still hopes to double its size.
“There was no bank financing available,” said Dr Peters. “I then had to take a total act of faith and said ‘okay, we will halve the scheme, we will do one megawatt initially’ and I basically raided my pension fund.”
While Rhosygilwen has beaten the Government’s feed-in tariff (Fit) deadline, other solar developers like Nigel Payne of Allied Renewables in Swansea have had to set their sights a little lower. His company hopes to complete a further three 50 kilowatt solar parks by September 2011.