Awel Aman Tawe, a community owned wind farm in the Upper Swansea Valley of South Wales, is perhaps the epitome of persistence, having originated in a ‘Local Agenda 21’ meeting organised by the local Council in 1998. With a high level of community interest and involvement, they have been responsible for a number of community projects and workshops; including Egni - the first solar co-op in Wales.
18 years on, they are now building a 4.7 MW wind farm with the assistance of a community share scheme - Awel Coop is an exciting and much needed venture for an area suffering from lack of opportunities and under-investment over the years. They are hoping to raise £2 million through their share offer, having raised almost £1.3 million so far.
Awel have ensured benefits remain in the community. They have trained 10 local unemployed people in consultation techniques and then employed them for a year. Several went on to other employment and one continues to work for Awel. In order to build functionality into the project, the tracks built to service the turbines are dual purpose, being used for cycling and horse riding access as well as essential maintenance.
Community Renewable Energy Project Winner - Awel Aman Tawe with
award sponsor The Naturesave Trust and Naturesave Policies Ltd.
It is testament to their strong will and tenacity that this project is now being built and will be the largest Community Energy Project in Wales once complete. Dan McCallum, Director of Awel Coop said “We're really honoured by this Award and would like to thank all our existing members for their support, and encourage more to join us.”
This award was sponsored by Naturesave.