Work nearly finished at £15m solar power site
WORK on the largest solar park on a brownfield site in Wales is close to completion.
The £15 million Baglan Bay scheme comprises 20,000 photovoltaic panels and will generate the equivalent electricity used by 1,200 households, according to site owners St Modwen.
Experts said the decreasing costs of solar technology made it attractive for investors, despite a decline in Government-backed subsidies funded by all consumers.
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St Modwen chiefs said the solar park was part of a larger plan to transform the former petrochemicals site into a new employment area.
"Baglan Bay provides all the right conditions for a photovoltaic park, from good exposure to sunlight, ideal coastal climate for cooling panels and located in an area that does not impact the public," said the company's South Wales and South West regional director, Rupert Joseland.
"By early next year we will be in a position to connect these solar cell panels to the national grid and start producing renewable energy for residential and commercial developments for years to come."
St Modwen is also behind the ongoing Coed Darcy development near Neath and Swansea University's Science and Innovation Campus, off Fabian Way.
Planning authorities in South West Wales are assessing several solar park schemes. Like any form of energy generation, they have pros and cons.
Professor Stuart Irvine, of Glyndwr University, told the Post there had been quite a large growth in such solar park applications this year. Subsidies for developers had come down "slightly", he said, while the price of photovoltaics had dropped "a lot".
He said: "Big projects in the right location get a good rate of return for their investment."
Professor Irvine, who is director of the Centre for Solar Energy Research, said South Wales was the second best location in the UK for solar photovoltaics, behind Cornwall.