£1.475 million to power community energy project in Pembrokeshire

The Development Bank of Wales has confirmed a capital loan of £1.475 million for Community Energy Pembrokeshire (CEP), the developers of the Prouts Park Wind Turbine.

With a community share offer now open for registration, It is expected that the Prouts Park Wind Turbine project will generate 900kw of renewable energy. The community project was awarded planning permission in September 2016 and began operation in March 2020.

The funding from the Development Bank of Wales has enabled the wind turbine to be constructed after manufacturers EWT agreed to provide full supply and installation services, a reduction in turbine cost and a reduction in O&M for five years.

The “embedded generation” benefit of the project means that the electricity produced by the turbine is being supplied into the local area electrical distribution network rather than being sent into the high voltage national grid.

As a community interest company, CEP is led by sustainable development specialist Peter Davies as Chairman. He was previously Welsh Government’s Commissioner for Sustainable Futures. Having secured a 1.68p/KWh feed in tariff rate from UK Government, CEP will share any surplus income after operational costs with community groups that support energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

Chairman Peter Davies said: “As is often the case with renewable energy schemes, this project has taken some time to come to fruition but it has now been made possible with the much-needed funding from the Development Bank of Wales and the support provided by the Welsh Government Energy Service.

“Our purpose is focussed on making sure that the community can benefit from the project resulting in a much wider social impact. We’ll be reinvesting any surpluses in installations or activities that increase sustainability, reduce fuel poverty, reduce energy consumption, generate renewable energy, or otherwise contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation. This may include amenity enhancements such as tree planting and biodiversity work.”

Nicola Griffith of the Development Bank of Wales added: “Welsh Government are clear with their ambition to create a sustainable, low carbon economy for Wales. Renewable energy is an integral part of the Government’s longer-term aim of reducing CO2 emissions and it is therefore important that we all do what we can to help to increase the amount of renewable energy deployed in Wales and diversify our energy supply.

“However, funding can often be a barrier for renewable projects hence the importance of our investment in Prouts Park Wind Turbine. This project will generate much needed renewable energy and have social impact by contributing to a stronger local economy, reduced fuel poverty and climate.”

Capital Law’s energy team, gathering sector specialist lawyers from across the firm, advised CEP on the delivery of this clean energy project.

Leanne O’Brien, who led the Capital team, commented: “As a community energy led project, Prouts directly helps Wales to reach its potential in benefiting from locally owned energy, and the Welsh Government in meeting its renewable energy commitments. We’re pleased to have supported CEP on such an important project.

“It has required input from our energy sector lawyers who specialise in construction, commercial property, and finance, as well as from our corporate lawyers, who helped restructure historic corporate structures and novate all contracts across to newly incorporated entities. We’ve enjoyed taking such a collaborative approach, across our firm and externally. It’s been a pleasure working alongside Peter Davies and his team and the Development Bank of Wales crew on this exciting project.”

Please visit http://www.communityenergypembrokeshire.org/ to register for information on the share offer.