North West Wales

Gwynedd's Pant Du vineyard turns to solar power

Pant Du Vineyard

It might be in an area not known for long sunny days but a vineyard in north Wales has shown it can grow grapes and generate electricity from solar panels.

Pant Du, near Penygroes, Gwynedd, produces 2,500 bottles of wine a year and is now also producing its own energy.

From 44 solar panels, it is able to power everything on site, including an electric car.

Owner Richard Wyn Huws said energy was still produced on rainy days.

"You get a little bit of electricity because it's daylight," he said.

"But, obviously, when it's really hot and great sunshine, there's nothing better than seeing my meter ticking away full speed, as they say, and creating cash for us."

Mr Huws said the solar panels were a "win-win-win" for him as he was able to create free electricity to power machinery on site, as well as selling surplus energy to the national grid.

He bought Pant Du, a farm dating back to the 17th Century, with his wife Iola in 2003.

They decided to create a vineyard after visiting New Zealand and seeing how successful their wine industry was.

They also planted 18 acres of orchards to produce cider.

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