Awel Aman Tawe (AAT) is a community energy charity and a social enterprise project focusing on a population of over 13,000 people in 12 villages located in the Upper Amman and Swansea Valley, South Wales. The project grew out of a local community meeting in 1998, and has focused on a community owned wind farm as a way to rejuvenate the local economy and address fuel poverty, which is a major concern in the local area.
Awel Aman Tawe
Low Carbon Community Challenge (LCCC) funding
The major part of the LCCC funding will help towards the costs of installing two 2MW wind turbines, which will generate enough electricity to supply the annual needs of about 2,000 homes, and generate an income for use within the community. Planning consent has been secured to install the turbines on the Mynydd y Gwrhyd mountain.
The LCCC funding also contributed towards outreach and engagement work delivered under AAT’s arts and climate change programme. This involved climate themed poetry workshops, a poetry competition resulting in a poetry book, a theatre project, animation and print making workshops, a film festival , and ‘post cards from the future’ designs.
Between 2000 – 2001, AAT consulted the local residents in 14 villages surrounding the site about the idea of a community wind farm. A referendum was held in March 2001 for everyone over the age of 16. The turnout for the referendum (48.5%) was higher than the General Election in some areas, and a clear majority voted in favour of the project going ahead. Following the referendum AAT has been engaged in obtaining planning consent for the wind turbines, which it secured in 2009.
AAT has initiated and delivered many local energy projects in their community. Some highlights include:
the installation of solar hot water panels on 27 projects on local community centres and private houses,
two small scale PV and wind turbine projects
the installation of one of the largest school roof photovoltaic panels at the time, on Gwaun Cae Gurwen Primary School.
development of a District heating scheme in Heol Y Gelynen, providing heating for a number of houses from a wood pellet boiler.
building the EDUcan energy unit to attend schools and community events educating the public about energy conservation and sustainable living
advising hundreds of householders about home energy efficiency
AAT has been involved in many different research projects, project evaluations, and has been selected as case studies for Government, Third Sector and Academic research.
Above Cwmllynfell - View across to location of wind mast and potential location of community wind turbine