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Wind farm bosses are inviting Swansea Valley people to co-own the project

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 02, 2016

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Members of Awel Co-op at Gwrhyd, with staff from Raymond Brown and Wind Prospect.

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SWANSEA Valley residents are being invited to claim a share in a unique community wind farm project.

Awel Aman Tawe Wind Farm is currently being built on land at Mynydd y Gwrhyd, and it is expected to supply enough clean power for around 2,500 homes.

Members of Awel Co-op have visited the site to see progress on the community wind farm, which is backed by Paul Thorburn, Wales rugby legend, Gillian Clarke, former Wales national poet, and Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Energy.

The co-op has just re-opened its Share Offer to enable people to invest during construction. With the Share Offer, the co-op is aiming to raise £1 million within a month, and it is well on the way having already passed the £800,000 mark.

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The co-op's oldest member is 84-year-old Eric Bowen, who was brought up on the Gwrhyd and worked all his life in the opencast coal mine at Tairgwaith, close to the wind farm.

He said: "I used to walk all these paths as a boy. I look forward to seeing the turbines up on the mountain generating clean power for future generations. I enjoyed discussing the technical aspects of the turbines with the engineers on the visit."

While Sioned Haf and Mair Craig, who have both invested in the co-op and took part in the visit, said: "It was wonderful to be in the fresh air. It's a great site for wind turbines and very exciting that our community co-op owns them."

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Dan McCallum, one of Awel's directors said: "We appointed a local company, Raymond Brown Construction, to start building in March.

"We now have 370 members and hope that many more will join us. In the future, we plan to arrange regular site visits as everyone really enjoyed it.

"We want community renewable energy to be the future."

The Share Offer is open until June 15 and shares are available from £50 and as a co-op, each member is entitled to one vote, irrespective of how many shares they own.

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