Readers of our blog will be aware that a 1MW community owned solar farm we developed at Killan Fach farm in Dunvant now has a fully operational battery, releasing green energy from locally-harvested sunshine onto the national grid. The battery has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, a development grant from the Welsh Government Energy Service and a loan from the Development Bank of Wales, making an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging facility on-site possible. Two charging points enable EVs to access 22kw of power (far more than a home charging station, giving a faster charge) for just 6p per kilowatt hour. A Welsh Government Minister, two leading local sustainability businesses and a local resident recently provided the following feedback.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:
“This project is a fantastic example of a community energy group working hard to respond to the impact of the climate emergency, and I am pleased that the Welsh Government Energy Service has been able to provide support to this innovative project. It is also good to note that the benefits of the charging point have already been seen.”
The project has been welcomed by SPECIFIC, Swansea University’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre for energy technology research, whose Active Buildings work showcases the use of buildings themselves as power stations. Nigel Morris, EV Integration Manager said,
“EV charging infrastructure is critical to reducing carbon emissions from transport. Adding EV charging into local energy generation and storage, as Gower Power has done here, is exactly in line with our Active Building principles.”
Mark McKenna, Director of Down to Earth, a Gower based sustainability social enterprise, also welcomes the charge point. Recently awarded an MBE for services to young people and the environment, McKenna said:
“There’s a real need for more EV Charge points on Gower and it’s critical to show how renewable energy generation needs to go hand-in-hand with electric vehicle charging. Combined with battery storage, this is a remarkable facility to have on the gateway to Gower and will build confidence in the public and businesses to go fully electric with their vehicles”
Swansea Council is also expanding EV charging facilities through their car parks, and residents welcome a growing local network of charging stations.
Local EV driver Kate Denner said,
“I used the charge points last week for the first time. They are great! No hassle at all. You download the PodPoint app; put credit in your account and charge away. For 75% charge, it cost £2.50…. I really appreciate being able to access this service so close to home.”
Users can locate the charge point on Killan Fach Farm via the PodPoint app.