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Llanelli hospital could be powered by new solar farm

Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, will be one of many local public sector buildings to be powered by solar farm if new plans are given the go-ahead.

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Sheep grazing around solar panels

Dyfrig Richards, director of Bartypower Ltd, has submitted pre-application consultation plans for a temporary 8-megawatt solar and 2-megawatt battery pack development on land at Glyngwernen Farm in Felinfoel, Llanelli. 

The proposals do not require a change of use from the current agricultural use, with the land to continue to be used for agricultural purposes in the interim. 

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The 18-hectare site will house 16,000 panels and will be directly linked to Prince Philip Hospital, which the applicants say would secure a greener, more sustainable future as well as saving vital funds for the local health board.

The solar farm would also have the capacity to supply local schools and care homes with renewable energy. It is estimated that the development will save 2,200 tonnes of carbon annually.

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Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the Welsh Government has legislated to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and have published bold plans to decarbonise the public sector, and commitment to generate 70% of Wales’s electricity from renewable sources, by 2030.

Developers say the 8MW Glyngwernen Farm development will ensure that Llanelli has a locally run renewable energy source that is resilient and reliable. In addition to supplying renewable energy to local organisations and saving thousands of tonnes of carbon annually, the solar farm also offers the most efficient way of supplying local power.

Similar schemes are already underway in the locality; in 2020 Morriston Hospital became the first hospital in the UK to invest in, and develop, solar power supply. 

Dyfrig Richards said: “This is a very exciting project that will benefit Llanelli, with li‘le visual impact on the area due to its locaVon. By supplying renewable energy to Prince Philip Hospital, local schools and care homes we will not only be helping them to become greener organisaVons but also making them more profitable. 

“Glyngwernen Farm development will be directly supporting the local economy, giving public and private sector organisations more autonomy over their energy as well as considerably cheaper utility costs.”

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Work on the solar farm is expected to start in the summer of 2024 and supplying power to the local area by autumn the same year. 

(Lead image: Alandem Consulting)

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