First solar village in Wales opens to social housing tenants

Tenants from Pembrokeshire County Council’s social housing waiting list will be housed in Wales’ ‘Pentre Solar’, a cluster of six eco-homes forming a solar village.

The homes are each equipped with a large solar installation on the properties’ monopitch roofs to provide low cost energy for the occupant, producing 6000kWh a year. 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.

Following First Minister Carwyn Jones officially opening Western Solar's prototype Ty Solar house in 2013, the Welsh Government provided the start-up £141,000 to help create its nearby production base for the homes.

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

Lesley Griffiths, cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs at the Welsh Assembly, officially opened the scheme.

She 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.”

Dr Glen Peters, Western Solar chief executive, added: "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."