A new film has been launched to celebrate the completion of the largest rooftop solar installation in Wales on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport, with over 2,000 solar panels.
The film has been made by double BAFTA Cymru winner, Mike Harrison and has been produced in Welsh and English. Links to the film are below. This installation is part of Egni’s solar across Wales which has seen 3MW of rooftop solar installed on schools, community buildings and businesses. The work is ongoing.
Working in collaboration with Egni Co-op, the project at the Geraint Thomas Velodrome is part of Newport City Council’s wider plan to install 6,000 solar panels on 21 council owned buildings across the city, with a target of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. The solar panels will generate a combined total of 1,973,000 units of clean renewable electricity per year with most of the electricity generated being used on site.
It was a partnership between Newport City Council, Newport Live, the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales and Egni Coop.
Cllr. Deb Davies, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said:
“Following the successful installation of solar panels across 19 of our buildings so far, it’s exciting to see the installation completed at the Velodrome site. Our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is a key tenant of our pledge to build a better Newport, and the renewable energy that the Velodrome will produce is a positive step towards meeting that ambition.”
Rosie Gillam, Egni Co-op Director said:
“This has been a great partnership project and demonstrates that energy co-ops can work at this scale as this is the largest rooftop solar array in Wales. And the Velodrome is more than a just a cycling venue. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Velodrome has been working with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to support the recovery of formerly ventilated COVID-19 patients post discharge. The Programme, the first of its kind in Wales, gets patients back to where they want to be, both mentally and physically. We’d like to thank all our co-op members who helped make this happen and invited more people to join us. And now that Welsh cyclists will be powered by sunbeams, we hope they’ll go even faster!”
Neil Sergeant, Director of Operations said:
“This has been an incredible project to support – we’ve helped realise an important programme of work in Newport City Council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. Utilising a national facility in Wales through the largest rooftop solar installation in the country has been a challenging yet extremely rewarding, working in partnership demonstrates the commitment to project, the nature and scale has not previously been seen in Wales. The film created and launched as part of the media coverage captures the very essence of the innovation that exists in the city and how when partners can collaborate, the achievements are great.”
Jim Cardy, Senior Manager for Welsh Government Energy Service, said:
“This project is a fantastic example of community energy groups working closely with a Local Authority partner in Wales to tackle the climate emergency.”
Owen Callender, from the Sustainable Communities Wales programme, marvelled:
“Watching drone footage of the National Velodrome’s rooftop solar being installed is not only breathtaking, you also can’t help but call to mind the thousands of other public, community and business rooftops across the country that are ripe and ready to use solar energy to transform the way we power Wales. Our work supporting Welsh community organisations suggests a strong appetite for sustainable change, and it is encouraging to see Newport City Council working with Egni Co-op to lead by example and prove that the future is already possible.”
Dr Chris Jardine, Joju Solar’s Technical Director explained:
“Community energy is a way of delivering carbon reductions at serious scale, whilst simultaneously engaging with the local community. A sustainable energy transition needs to build from the bottom-up in this way, if it is to be successful. Egni’s scheme in Newport is a perfect example of what can be achieved and we were delighted to install the panels on the Velodrome”
José Carlos from the EU YOUCOOPE project said:
“We are looking to expand co-op education across Europe and it’s great to see the Velodrome and all the schools in Wales that have come together through a co-op structure to install more than 3MW of solar panels.”