The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths has officially opened Wales’ first Solar village.
The cluster of six homes which is called ‘Pentre Solar’ in Glanrhyd, North Pembrokeshire, will house tenants from Pembrokeshire County Council’s social housing waiting list. All houses have extremely low energy consumption and running costs, superfast broadband and access to a shared electric car.
The First Minister officially opened the prototype ‘Ty Solar’ house in 2013 and the Welsh Government provided Western Solar Ltd with a grant of £141,000 to establish a factory locally to manufacture the homes off site and create 10 jobs.
The concept behind the initiative is to provide affordable, energy efficient housing by developing homes using as much locally sourced Welsh timber as possible, purchasing from local supply chains and utilising solar panels to virtually eliminate occupants’ heating and electricity bills. The project has also offered valuable apprenticeships and local employment opportunities.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am delighted to officially open this innovative housing development, which is not only providing much needed housing for local people, it is also addressing many other key issues such as energy efficiency, fuel poverty, skills development and the use of Welsh timber.
“I’m pleased we as a Government were able to financially support the developer with the establishment of their local production facility. I am sure the tenants will be very happy in their new homes and with their lower bills.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, added:
”This is a great example of a private sector initiative launched by a small start up in West Wales. It is already creating local employment opportunities and supporting skills development as well as creating wider economy benefits through using Welsh supply chains and sourcing locally whenever possible.
“We have a vibrant construction sector in Wales and this highly innovative initiative provides a new model for rural development.”