The 20-acre solar farm, based at Home Farm, St Georges, is the latest green energy project from Bridgend-based renewable energy company, Cenin Renewables.
Supported by a £3m investment by Barclays, Home Farm now boasts some 11,500 solar panels, allowing Cenin to produce enough energy to power 800 homes for more than 25 years. The farm has already started exporting green power to the grid to provide power to homes in Ely and The Drope.
Established in 2011, Bridgend Business Forum member, Cenin Renewables operates alongside its sister company Cenin from its base at the former World War II Bridgend airfield site, Parc Stormy.
Beginning life as a training site for RAF tail gunners, Parc Stormy has been redeveloped from a rundown brownfield site into a cluster of interconnected renewable technologies since its acquisition by Cenin in 2007 and is now a hive of green activity.
The cluster of green technologies available at Parc Stormy are allowing Cenin to demonstrate to both SME’s and future generations that considerable local economic benefit can be derived from simply embracing the collaborative approaches to sustainability and low-carbon production that are commonplace in mainland Europe.
The renewable technologies in operation at Cenin include:
- A 100m wind turbine producing 1.5MW of energy to 1,500 homes, with planning permission for an additional 125m 2.5MW wind turbine to power 2,500 homes in 2017
- Two state-of-the-art hydrogen vehicles, as part of a study to inform UK government on the propensity for mass population use. Also due to be showcased at this summer’s national Eisteddfod
- A low carbon cement manufacturing plant that commercialises a low-carbon technology invented by Cardiff University to create a new generation low-carbon cement replacement from the conversion of mineral wastes from power and steel industries
- A 735 kW ground-mounted solar array (PV) to power the onsite low carbon cement manufacturing plant, with planning permission for six additional solar PV trackers
- An anaerobic digestion facility taking in enough organic waste to power a 3MW generator and providing power for 6000 homes
- An educational centre for low-carbon research – Solcer House – developed in conjunction with Cardiff and Swansea Universities.
Martyn Popham, managing director of Cenin Renewables and recent winner of the 2016 Entrepreneur Wales Awards’ Eco Entrepreneur of the Year Award said: "Cenin Group is demonstrating that Wales has the opportunity to harness natural and waste resources to help improve economic activity, reduce carbon emissions and increase resource efficiency at the same time.
"We all live on an increasingly crowed planet. Over the next 50 years there will be increasing competition for work, and possibly even for food and water.
He added: "We currently use around three times more resources than the planet can sustain, so we need to better use materials harness nature resources and create less waste.
"Our energy comes from the wind, sun and organic carbons, which are not currently harnessed. Not everybody understands that renewable energy does not run out (when will the wind stop blowing?) and possibly most importantly local energy generation means local jobs.”
As part of their ongoing development at Parc Stormy, Cenin are also planning a 10MW battery storage/grid balancing unit, an e-vehicle and hydrogen fuelling station to serve the M4, as well as working with Cardiff University to design a new energy positive research centre, including business starter units to encourage local innovation and eco-business.
Further information on the renewable technologies available at Parc Stormy, as well information on booking an educational visit, can be found at: www.ceninrenewables.co.uk.