Awel Aman Tawe (AAT) is a community energy group in south Wales founded in 2000 to pursue a community owned wind farm. Planning permission to erect two 2MW wind turbines has been achieved, creating a £6million asset that will bring clean energy and construction contracts to the area, together with an annual income stream from the sale of electricity of some £200,000. The Community Generation Fund (CGF) has provided a £125,250 development loan to AAT to enable them to carry out important site preparation work prior to construction and the discharge of a number of planning conditions.
AAT exists to improve the lives of the people at the top of the Swansea and Amman Valleys; a rural area suffering from a loss of mining and associated heavy industry. Over the years AAT have become a significant part of the local community on the back of the successful delivery of numerous projects and regular events which are always well attended.
Revenue from the wind farm will be used to deliver a number of short and long-term objectives which community consultation has identified will enhance the lives of the local communities. Examples are a community cafe and crèche, the creation and delivery of a climate change awareness programme for local schools and a comprehensive funding programme to address fuel poverty.
Communities surrounding the wind farm will have an increased awareness and understanding of climate change and renewable energy. Homes in the local villages will benefit from an increase in energy efficiency and direct renewable energy use and all members of the community will benefit from an increase in local employment and services.
The number of people in the community suffering fuel poverty and associated cold and damp related health problems will decrease. Household disposable incomes will increase due to a reduction in energy costs and mental health will be improved thanks to increased access to community facilities, services. Existing jobs will be maintained within AAT and new positions created through an expansion of their services and activities.
Dan McCallum, Director – Awel Aman Tawe
“CGF support has been essential for us to take forward our community wind farm. CGF funds are paying for the at risk studies we need to secure bank loans for the construction of the 4MW scheme. We are in a former coal mining area and want to seize the opportunity of locally owned wind power. People power is the way forward to tackle economic regeneration and climate change”