Disused Welsh coal mine to become solar farm

The project is one of two by solar energy developer Conergy which will create enough electricity to power 3,200 UK homes

Solar energy developer Conergy is to convert a disused coal mine in Wales into a solar farm, having acquired two new sites for renewable energy projects in the UK.

The planned 13.5 megawatt (MW) project will sit on Hendai Farm in South Wales, on the slopes of the former coal mine at the top of the Rhymney Valley. The mine closed in the 1970s, and was filled in and covered with a layer of topsoil.

“Coal powered Britain for over a hundred years and whole communities grew up around it. Solar is a simple technology, lasts for decades and can be deployed wherever people live,” said Robert Goss, managing director of Conergy UK and Ireland.

“No one needs to get their hands dirty or risk their life so that others can turn on the dishwasher, which is why solar will continue to grow in the UK.”

Conergy will also develop a 4.45MW plant at Winnards Perch in Cornwall which, like the Hendai Farm project, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Conergy say the two projects will collectively generate enough power for around 3,200 homes, and prevent the emission of 200,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 25 years.

A report published in June by The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) revealed that 2013 was a record year for the solar industry.

Though growth was largely driven by new developments in Asia, at least 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new photovoltaic systems were installed across Europe.

In August, investment bank Citigroup forecast that the solar industry will soon become competitive with fossil fuels, due to the need for diversification of energy supply.

First published by Blue&Green Tomorrow