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Out With the Coal and in With the Renewables

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This article has been submitted by Good Energy

After the Taff Bargoed valley’s three coal mines were closed down in the early 1990s; the park became a derelict waste land.

25 years later, it’s a well-loved community park and wildlife reserve that has built its livelihood on a much greener form of energy: hydro power.

Hydro power that funds the community

Flowing right through the centre of the park is the Taff Bargoed river, which feeds into almost 12 acres of lakes and canoeing weirs.

Following the installation of a millennium ornamental water cascade, the Friends of Taff Bargoed Park group began to look into a way to harness the river’s power and to provide a sustainable income for the park for future generations.

Taff Bargoed hydro was finally completed in 2016. It generates a whopping 480 megawatt hours a year – enough to power 150 average-sized households.

It’s one of over 1400 independent generators all over the UK that we at Good Energy purchase our renewable electricity from.

The hydro turbine has now been in operation for a year; so we recently checked in with Paul Kent, a key member of the Friends of Taff Bargoed Group, to find out how the initiative was getting on.

He was pleased to tell us that the group are nearly in a position to grant around £15,000 to fund wardens’ work within the park.

They will also soon be able to start using the income from the hydro turbine to fund local community groups, like the busy rugby team, fishing club and canoeing club.

“We decided to build the hydro as we wanted to help support the park for future generations. We’re proud to be doing our bit for the environment and for a cleaner, greener National Grid too.”

Said Paul.

The project provides a fantastic blueprint for other groups as the perfect example of enterprising individuals coming together to start a sustainable business for the greater good of the community.

We at Good Energy think it is fantastic to see a renewable technology right at the heart of the local community. It is such an engaging way for local residents to feel closer to where their energy comes from. After all, how amazing is it to say that your house is powered by the hydro in your local park?!