South West Wales

Solar farm plan to power 1,000 homes in Gorseinon

solar panel Image copyright Gower Power
Image caption Gower Power says the project will create jobs and investment opportunities

A community co-operative in Swansea has plans for a £4m solar farm on land north of Gorseinon.

Gower Power says the project, over 20 acres of farmland, would generate 3.6 megawatt (MW) of electricity - enough to power around 1,000 homes.

Its previous bid for a 1MW solar farm near Ilston was rejected by planners.

It was dismissed because the scheme fell within the Gower's designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - a decision the firm plans to appeal.

The new proposal, which is a joint venture with developer Locogen Ltd, has also been met with some opposition from nearby homeowners.

But Gower Power board member Ant Flannigan believes a compromise is possible.

"We've consulted widely with the community and taken on board all the concerns, incorporating trees to screen the solar farm from houses, which will also improve the area's biodiversity," he said.

"The 500 people who've supported us believe that the benefits of this project dramatically outweigh any perceived drawbacks."

He said the panels, which would be raised off the ground to allow animal grazing, would provide clean energy and would create jobs and investment opportunities.

The application is due to go before Swansea council's planning committee next month.

If successful Gower Power intend to fund the project through a share issue, with preference given to local investors.

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