Egni Co-op and Clynfyw Care Farm are delighted to announce the commissioning of a 32.8 kWp solar system.
Jim Bowen, Director of Clynfyw said, We are so happy with the solar system which was installed by a local company, Preseli Solar. All costs were funded by Egni Co-op. Clynfyw has always taken action on tackling climate change and installing the solar system is part of that journey. It’s great to be working in partnership with a co-op to achieve that. As electricity costs have gone up such a lot, the panels will save us money as we’re paying Egni Co-op 60% less per kWh compared to our main supplier – this reduces our running costs and enables us to continue our work more sustainably.”
The Care Farm supports adults with learning difficulties and those recovering from mental unwellness. Clynfyw Care Farm is a Community Interest Company located near the village of Boncath in Pembrokeshire.It uses meaningful projects as tools for learning, engagement, contribution and fun through a farm-based Day Service and supporting people living in the Clynfyw Farm Cottages. They also manage the Kinora mental health recovery centre in Cardigan. Clynfyw have won multiple awards for their work including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (sustainable development) in 2020.
Clynfyw is home to ten people living in supported tenancy and provides inspiring opportunities for 45 vulnerable people, over 200 times each week, and secure, enjoyable employment for 42 paid staff and volunteers. They have shared their experience with others and have written a book ‘Care Farming for Beginners – a how to Guide’.
Jim added “Yesterday, the whole site was powered by the sun from 7.30am till 8pm, with no power being imported from the grid. We saved 115 kg of CO2 was saved in a single day. And it’s green and on our roof!”
Michael Switzer, Operations Manager at Egni Co-op said “We were honoured to be approached by Jim to install solar here. Clynfyw is one of those truly inspirational organisations in Wales. The quality of their work is clear from talking to the people who come each day and those who live on site.”
Notes for Editor:
Awel Aman Tawe (AAT) / Egni Co-op
AAT is a community energy charity which has been operating for 21 years. It was created by local people in the Upper Amman and Swansea Valleys, a former coal mining area 20 miles north of Swansea. Our prime drivers are tackling climate change, job creation, retaining wealth in the Welsh economy and engaging people in energy. We have a strong reputation for delivery of education, arts and engagement. We have set up two co-ops:
- Awel Co-op, is a 4.7MW community wind farm which was commissioned in Jan 2017. It was funded by a £5.25m loan from Triodos Bank and a £3m community share offer. www.awel.coop
- Egni Co-op develops rooftop solar on schools, businesses and community buildings. It has installed nearly 5 MWp on 90 sites in Wales. It’s now the largest rooftop solar co-op in the UK. Egni has raised £5m from a community share offer and £2.12m from the Development Bank of Wales to fund the installs which are ongoing. Egni has been actively supported by the Welsh Government Energy Service. We saved our sites more than £120k in electricity costs in 2022 and 1,000 tonnes in carbon emissions. All surplus goes into energy education projects in schools, working in partnership with EnergySparks www.egni.coop
Over 80 local community organisations and schools are also members of Awel and Egni Co-ops, owning more than £100k of shares, gaining a sustainable income stream from the projects. We have over 1,500 members of our two renewable energy co-ops. In 2019, Awel Aman Tawe was recognised as Environmental Organisation of the Year in the UK Social Enterprise Awards.
Clynfyw Farm is a 395 acre organic farm and woodland in North Pembrokeshire that has been farmed by the Lewis-Bowen family since the 1750s. Since 1985, it has offered high-quality accessible accommodation in converted Victorian farm buildings. It also hosts weddings, conferences and a variety of courses based around the environment, sustainability and disability access. The majority of the farmland is rented to an organic farmer, Hefyn Evans, and the CIC uses about 12 acres for its care farming work.
Pembrokeshire County Council has been using Clynfyw’s cottages for respite stays for its Learning Disability team since 2009 with care support provided by a number of different registered domiciliary care providers.