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Welsh solar farm exceeds expectations by powering Swansea hospital

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<p><figcaption class=Photographer: Barry Batchelor/PA

The Brynwhillach facility, owned by the board of health, generates enough over a 50-hour period to meet all of the Morriston site’s power needs

The UK’s first solar farm owned by a board of health and directly connected to a hospital has exceeded expectations, sometimes providing all the electricity needed to run the site, even during the winter months.

Health chiefs and Welsh government ministers had hoped the solar farm in south-west Wales would supply Morriston Hospital in Swansea with a fifth of its energy use each year.

However, they were surprised and pleased that Brynwhillach Farm, which is linked to Morriston by a two-mile cable, provided enough power over a 50-hour period to meet 100% of the hospital’s demands.

The 10,000-panel farm, which was switched on in November, is estimated to have already saved £120,000 on electricity bills, and on occasion the board has been able to sell power to the power grid.

The £5.7m solar farm was built under a loan scheme set out by the Welsh government to decarbonise the public sector by 2030.

Welsh Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “We want our energy to come from community owned and locally managed renewable energy sources in Wales.

“This will ensure that our supply is resilient, reliable and reasonable for both our planet and our pocketbooks. The Morriston hospital, which relies not only on the powers of its staff but also on energy-hungry machines to keep its patients alive and well, has led the way.”

It had been thought that when fully operational the scheme would cut carbon emissions by 1,000 tonnes and save £500,000 on annual bills, but with global energy prices spiraling, the board now believes the savings could be almost double that figure.

Swansea Bay University Health Board Deputy Director of Operations Des Keighan said: “During the winter months the solar farm was expected to contribute electricity, but the hospital would still need to continue to buy power from the grid every day. the days.

“What has been a pleasant surprise is that for a total of 50 hours, the hospital has been completely powered by the solar farm.

“This is despite the fact that the solar farm has not been operating continuously during the winter. It has still undergone testing and fine-tuning, and is not expected to be fully finished until the end of March. So this additional performance has been even more of an advantage.”

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