South West Wales

'Solar village' to be opened in Glanrhyd, Pembrokeshire

An interior at the Pentre Solar village Image copyright Western Solar
Image caption All the homes have extremely-low energy consumption and running costs, superfast broadband and access to a shared electric car

One of Wales' first "solar villages" is set to be opened in Pembrokeshire.

It is hoped the six timber homes at Pentre Solar, in Glanrhyd, near Cardigan, will save tenants hundreds of pounds in annual living costs thanks to their A++ energy ratings.

They also have roof solar panels capable of producing 6000kWh a year.

Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths, who will unveil the village, said it would provide much-needed housing and help tackle fuel poverty.

First Minister Carwyn Jones officially opened Western Solar's prototype Ty Solar house in 2013.

The Welsh Government gave the start-up £141,000 to help create its nearby production base for the homes, which also have 11in (28cm) of insulation.

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Media captionThe Ty Solar prototype is created in 2013

With low energy use and access to a shared electric car, the company said tenants could avoid up to £2,000 a year in living costs.

The cluster of homes will house tenants from Pembrokeshire council's social housing waiting list.

Western Solar chief executive Dr Glen Peters said: "We built this village to demonstrate to sceptical housing providers that people don't have to choose any more between putting food on the table and keeping warm."

It plans to build 1,000 homes over the next 10 years, with the help of partnerships including housing providers and investors.

Image copyright Western Solar
Image caption The new homes at Pentre solar are partly built using Welsh timber

The environment secretary 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 issues such as energy efficiency, fuel poverty, skills development and the use of Welsh timber.

"I am sure the tenants will be very happy in their new homes with much lower energy and heating costs."

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