Rhydygwydd Turbine, Salem, Llandeilo
Our community-owned 500kW wind turbine, Carmarthenshire’s first ever community-owned turbine, has been generating electricity since June 2016. Initially, it was the largest community energy installation in Wales. Together we have generated over 5.2 GWH since the wind turbine has been in operation. Annual electricity production from the turbine is enough to power 400 homes, and total production would power an EV 24,000,000 miles!
Profit has been distributed within the village of Salem, on the outskirts of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire where our turbine is located. We raised £1.3m to pay for the turbine from shareholders, 72% of which were local residents of Carmarthenshire. The turbine will generate a range of economic impacts, including the following key benefits:
- Supporting the development of Carmarthenshire based renewable energy projects earning further profits.
- Payments to Seren Energy and local landowner, sustaining both a local business and farm.
- Establishing a scheme supporting local householders, businesses and community organisations with grants and zero/low interest loans.
- Interest paid to shareholders.
Ynni Sir Gâr has made financial forecasts on several different yield and export value scenarios, with the most conservative scenario indicating substantial surpluses for items in the last two bullet points over the next 25 years. This 500kW wind turbine is producing clean, low carbon energy and will do so for at least the next two decades. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support and funding from members and shareholders.
We have also developed a map of potential wind turbine sites for community use in Carmarthenshire, identifying 50 key opportunities. Contact us for further information.
Salem Memorial Hall
Ynni Sir Gâr paid for the installation of a PV/battery/chargepoint system on Salem memorial hall. The EV chargepoint is free for the public to use and doesn’t cost the hall anything to run as the electricity used to charge all comes from the PV panels and is stored in the batteries.
Energy Local Scheme
Ynni Sir Gâr are working with Energy Local on projects in Capel Dewi, Llandysul and Nant y Caws. Energy Local is a new way to enable local communities to work together to pool their locally owned generation and manage local demand to reduce bills and carbon emissions. Energy Local believes that communities should be able to benefit from moving their use of energy to cheaper times of day and matching it to local generation. Energy Local has designed a local market in power via Energy Local Clubs. This enables households to club together to show when they are using local clean power when it is generated. The scheme gives generators a price for the power they produce, that reflects its true value, keeps more money local and reduces household electricity bills. You can find out more about Energy Local here: https://energylocal.org.uk/
TrydaNi has been established by Community Energy Wales members to help decarbonize Wales and help to develop thriving, sustainable communities and tackle social problems such as transport poverty and social isolation through installing Electric Vehicle (EV) chargepoints, and linked transport projects with community benefit, across rural parts of our nation. Just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, TrydaNi raised £20,000 on Crowdfunder with over 120 supporters. They are looking to develop legal agreements at sites in mid-Wales for rapid charging. You can find out more about TrydaNi here: https://chargeplacewales.org/
Ynni Sir Gâr works closely with Renew Wales on a number of our projects. Renew Wales provide peer to peer support for community groups addressing climate change in Wales. Ynni Sir Gâr is a host organisation for mentors on the programme. Ynni Sir Gâr have hosted Carmarthenshire's Renew Wales co-ordinators and mentors since this ground-breaking Climate Change action programme was launched in 2012.
You can find out more about Renew Wales at renewwales.org.uk.
Ynni Sir Gâr have given presentations in a number of events and on a number of media outlets across Carmarthenshire, Wales and beyond. We have also contributed a number of articles for a number of publications.
We have engaged with research projects by academic and research institutions, contributing to more knowledge about the community energy sector. We are also continuously working with other community energy networks/organisations: e.g. Community Energy Wales, Renew Wales, Robert Owen Community Banking, Severn Wye, Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Elli and many others.
For our engagement work we have been nominated for a number of awards, including for the Sustainable Academy Award 2018 in the ‘Sustainability Champion’ category, and the Wales Green Energy Award 2015 in the 'Community Engagement' Category.
Engagement with local and national governmental bodies
Ynni Sir Gâr are actively engaged with local policy development and politics, having given a number of presentations and holding bimonthly meetings with Carmarthenshire Council. We also engage with politicians at Welsh Assembly level and contribute with other community energy groups through Community Energy Wales, to influence Wales and UK level policy to support the community energy sector.
We have been working closely with Carmarthenshire Council on their Carbon net-Zero policy, including creating a very simple strategy to tackle the myriad challenges that we face, A Really Simple Plan to Solve the Climate Emergency. We are also working with the council on divesting their pension fund, in order to support more community energy projects. We hope to continue discussions with the council, and by doing so, enable us to ensure that we are all successful in addressing the climate challenge in our county
Apart from contributing to policy development, we are also cooperating with Carmarthenshire Local Authority on actual renewable projects. These include having worked with the county council to deliver a 10kW system at Richmond Park School, Carmarthen in 2012; working on EV charge points in Carmarthen Council owned car parks, and working on the new Ten Towns project.
Energy Auditing and Energy Saving
Board and staff members have extensive experience in energy auditing and measures for energy saving measures for community buildings across Carmarthenshire. Please contact us for more information or if you want to take actions on this.
Many resources exist for saving energy, including Welsh Government initiatives, such as Nest|Nyth.
For Council tenants you can access further advice on making your home energy efficient on the Carmarthen Council website.
There is also further impartial advice, resources and information on the Energy Savings Trust website.
Ynni Sir Gâr have delivered a number of presentations and workshops for schools and are hoping of building on this work in future. We have developed outdoor learning activities and resource sheets in partnership with Outdoor Learning Wales which are available across Wales. Staff at Ynni Sir Gâr are particularly interested in the educative role that we can play for Carmarthenshire communities and schools, and have developed a community energy teaching pack for schools across Wales, and available for free through the digital teaching resources Hwb Cymru.
We are eager to develop links with Coleg Sir Gâr and local schools to help prepare future generations for a decarbonised future.