Newport City Council has set a target of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. As part of the Council’s ambition to reach this target, it decided to work with Egni Co-op, a community-based rooftop solar energy company in Wales, to review the potential for solar on its buildings across the city.
Egni Co-op approached Welsh Government Energy Service for support, a programme delivered by a consortium, led by Energy Saving Trust and Carbon Trust, and supported by local partnerships.
Welsh Government Energy Service looks to support community and public sector organisations in Wales to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that will lower carbon emissions and provide cost savings, income generation and wider community benefits. For the Newport City Council project, Welsh Government Energy Service provided development grant funding and supported a detailed feasibility study that reviewed over 40 buildings across Newport City Council.
The Newport City Council project has installed over 7,000 solar panels on 28 council-owned buildings, including 500kW on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales, which is the largest rooftop solar array in Wales. The installations total over 2.2MWp.
The solar panels will lead to a reduction of Newport City Council’s carbon emissions by 529 tonnes a year. They will generate a combined total of 1,836,221 units of clean renewable electricity every year with most of the electricity generated being used on site.
In December 2020, the project received The Alan Clark award for local/community energy at the Solar & Storage Live Awards.
Since 2018, Welsh Government Energy Service has supported a total of £84 million in capital investment in low carbon projects across Wales. These projects are expected to generate £198 million in energy bill savings to the public sector and community income via renewable energy projects over their lifetime.