A new film has been launched to celebrate the completion of the largest rooftop solar installation in Wales on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport, with over 2,000 solar panels. The film has been made by double BAFTA Cymru winner, Mike Harrison and has been produced in Welsh and English. Links to the film are below. This installation is part of Egni’s solar across Wales which has seen over 3MW of rooftop solar installed on schools, community buildings and businesses. The work is ongoing.
Working in collaboration with Egni Co-op, the project at the Geraint Thomas Velodrome is part of Newport City Council’s wider plan to install 6,000 solar panels on 21 council owned buildings across the city, with a target of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. The solar panels will generate a combined total of 1,973,000 units of clean renewable electricity per year with most of the electricity generated being used on site.
It was a partnership between Newport City Council, Newport Live, the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales and Egni Coop.
Cllr. Deb Davies, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Following the successful installation of solar panels across 19 of our buildings so far, it’s exciting to see the installation completed at the Velodrome site. Our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is a key tenant of our pledge to build a better Newport, and the renewable energy that the Velodrome will produce is a positive step towards meeting that ambition.”
Rosie Gillam, Egni Co-op Director said “This has been a great partnership project and demonstrates that energy co-ops can work at this scale as this is the largest rooftop solar array in Wales. And the Velodrome is more than a just a cycling venue. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Velodrome has been working with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to support the recovery of formerly ventilated COVID-19 patients post discharge. The Programme, the first of its kind in Wales, gets patients back to where they want to be, both mentally and physically. We’d like to thank all our co-op members who helped make this happen and invited more people to join us. And now that Welsh cyclists will be powered by sunbeams, we hope they’ll go even faster!”
Neil Sergeant, Director of Operations said “This has been an incredible project to support – we’ve helped realise an important programme of work in Newport City Council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. Utilising a national facility in Wales through the largest rooftop solar installation in the country has been a challenging yet extremely rewarding, working in partnership demonstrates the commitment to project, the nature and scale has not previously been seen in Wales. The film created and launched as part of the media coverage captures the very essence of the innovation that exists in the city and how when partners can collaborate, the achievements are great.”
Jim Cardy, Senior Manager for Welsh Government Energy Service, said: “This project is a fantastic example of community energy groups working closely with a Local Authority partner in Wales to tackle the climate emergency.”
Owen Callender, from the Sustainable Communities Wales programme, marvelled: “Watching drone footage of the National Velodrome’s rooftop solar being installed is not only breathtaking, you also can’t help but call to mind the thousands of other public, community and business rooftops across the country that are ripe and ready to use solar energy to transform the way we power Wales. Our work supporting Welsh community organisations suggests a strong appetite for sustainable change, and it is encouraging to see Newport City Council working with Egni Co-op to lead by example and prove that the future is already possible.”
Dr Chris Jardine, Joju Solar’s Technical Director explained “Community energy is a way of delivering carbon reductions at serious scale, whilst simultaneously engaging with the local community. A sustainable energy transition needs to build from the bottom-up in this way, if it is to be successful. Egni’s scheme in Newport is a perfect example of what can be achieved and we were delighted to install the panels on the Velodrome”
José Carlos from the EU YOUCOOPE project said “We are looking to expand co-op education across Europe and it’s great to see the Velodrome and all the schools in Wales that have come together through a co-op structure to install more than 3MW of solar panels.”
Welsh version: https://youtu.be/AcxIKfEodBw
Notes to editors:
Newport City Council – solar project background
In addition to the project at the National Velodrome, solar panels have been installed at schools, a council depot and care homes.
Most of the electricity generated will be used on site, reducing the council’s carbon emissions by 348 tonnes per year. Some electricity will also be exported to the grid for use in the city.
The solar panels in Newport have been funded by a loan from the Development Bank of Wales and Egni’s ongoing co-op share offer, which has raised £1.94m to date.
For the Council:
01633 656656 or 01633 210461
About Welsh Government Energy Service
The Welsh Government Energy Service provides free technical, commercial and procurement support to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The energy service helps with financial planning and funding, for example interest free loans and grants.
About Egni Co-op
Egni Co-op is a community organisation which funds and manages PV installations in Wales. It was set up by Awel Aman Tawe (AAT), a community energy charity which has been operating for 20 years. Our prime drivers are tackling climate change and engaging people in energy. www.egni.coop
Sustainable Communities Wales
SCW works with community organisations across the country to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. They reduce their emissions and act as an example of sustainability for the whole community. Funded by the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme, SCW is delivered by a consortium of Welsh energy efficiency experts, led by Severn Wye Energy Agency. For more information, visit sustainablecommunities.wales
About Newport Live
Newport Live is a not for profit distribution organisation and registered charity who deliver services through a partnership with Newport City Council. Newport Live is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, Company Number 9323582 and is a registered charity. The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre is also recognised as a Regional Performing Arts Centre by the Arts Council of Wales.
Newport Live operate the Active Living Centre, Newport Centre, The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Connect Centre and the Newport International Sports Village (NISV). NISV also comprises of the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales, the South East Wales Regional Swimming Pool and Tennis Centre and the Newport Stadium, whilst also delivering Arts and Sport and Physical Activity Development programmes which are sector leading and national award winning. As a non-profit distribution organisation and registered charity, the money they make is wholly reinvested into the services and facilities they offer, so all Newport Live customers are supporting the local community through the delivery of these projects and activities.
For further information about Newport Live please visit www.newportlive.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find Newport Live on social media at Facebook.com/NewportLiveUK and @NewportLiveUK on Twitter and Instagram.
Wales’ first post COVID-19 rehabilitation programme at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales: https://abuhb.nhs.wales/news/news/wales-first-post-covid-19-rehabilitation-programme/
YOUCOOPE is a European project that aims to encourage educational institutions to include the cooperative model in their curricula and to promote it among young students and entrepreneurs.
The ten institutions that promote this initiative will design innovative training modules with resources, methodologies and tools for educators to integrate cooperative entrepreneurship concepts, skills and real experiences in their classroom. Th resources will also encourage them to seek the collaboration of existing cooperatives from their local context, to both gain awareness but also to facilitate school-to-work transition and real experiences.
With this approach, educators will develop skills and comprehension of the cooperative model, to encourage the use of cooperative entrepreneurship in the development of innovative projects.