Hybrid Solar Park
CARE’s hybrid solar park at Trefawr Farm, Llanfyrnach, will demonstrate the viability of such projects. Providing proof of concept and an educational site for other local wind generators to consider similar additions to their existing grid connections.
With kind permission and legal arrangement with the landowner, the solar park will be located adjacent to the wind turbine and share the same access tracks for construction and maintenance. See the site layout here
The solar panels will be ground mounted on A frames that lift the array ~1m above ground level. This allows the option for continued agricultural grazing underneath the array as well as allowing ventilation and light to circulate to support wild flower growth, sown as part of the post construction environmental enhancements.
Following the receipt of planning permission for the solar park in October 2022, the project is now aiming for construction in Summer 2023.
How to connect more community owned renewable energy generators to a grid network that is already at capacity? There are opportunities!
Wind turbine’s are intermittent, producing most consistently in the windy winter months and less so in the summer months. However, their existing grid connections remain connected, with the same potential for electricity transfer all year round, even when the wind turbine is offline. This means there are periods of time where only a small percentage of the grid connection is being utilised.
Hybrid, or co-located, solar parks make use of these periods. The solar park utilises the same grid connection as the wind turbine, sharing the connection’s capacity with the wind turbine. The solar park produces most consistently in bright summer months, and less so in the dark winter months, complimenting the generation pattern of the wind turbine to produce renewable electricity more consistently across the year.
By monitoring how much electricity is being exported via the grid connection by both the solar and wind combined, the solar park can ensure the maximum capacity of the grid connection is never surpassed by down-rating its production in real time.
The grid connection is then being utilised to its maximum potential, and additional renewable energy has been added to the grid network.
The capital cost of the project is aimed to be provided by a generous grant from the Welsh Government Energy Service, as well as a low interest loan from Development Bank of Wales. The application process for this funding is underway. Please see the “Status” tab for more information.
Both organisation’s require a robust business case backed up with full lifetime financial modelling in order to give the green light for any funding. The project aims to have a healthy IRR with sufficient revenue being generated over the lifetime of the project to provide a minimum £1,300 per annum surplus to a community benefit fund.
CARE’s ambition is for its renewable energy assets to be fully community owned in the near future via the launch of a community share offer. Providing an opportunity for local people to invest in the generators and receive long term returns.
Type: Solar Photovoltaic
No. Panels: ~950x 550W panels
Estimated Annual Yield: 500MWh (~125 avg. UK homes)
Estimated Annual Carbon Saving: 96.69 tonnes/year*
Ground screw/pile mounted (no concrete)
Field Area: 0.92 hectares / 2.27 acres
* as per 2022 UK Gov GHG Reporting Conversion Factors 2022