Featured image: Swansea Bay City Deal
More than 10,000 homes in the UK could become “mini power plants” equipped with green technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and Tesla Powerwalls.
The Swansea Bay City Region, is a city region in Wales. It is a partnership between the local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, local businesses in south west Wales and other organizations with the support of the Welsh Government. The Swansea Bay City Region is coterminous with the area defined as South West Wales.
Swansea Bay City plans to build 3,300 new properties, and equip 7,000 with special equipment that will make households environmentally friendly.
This is a scheme in which homes generate their own energy and also send surpluses to the National Grid. This is project is a pilot and ministers in Cardiff Bay and London will need to approve it.
In total, nine projects were implemented as part of a city transaction worth a £1.3 bn. The Homes as Power Stations project aims to deliver smart, low carbon, energy-efficient homes through a co-ordinated approach across the City Region.
The project will deliver a program of new build developments, the retro-fitting of existing buildings and local supply chain development support.
The aim of the project is to:
The project will monitor the health and well-being aspects of warmer homes and the reduction in fuel poverty.
Source: Swansea Bay City Deal
A pilot scheme to help inform the Homes as Power Stations concept is already being developed in Neath.
The joint committee approved the house as a plan for power plants on Thursday, and now all four councils have approved it, reports bbc.com.
A pilot scheme in Neath has used technology developed at Swansea University while a retrofit scheme at Craigcefnparc in the Swansea Valley has seen energy bills plummet from £71-a-week to £3.
Heat pumps can be critical to lowering energy costs in buildings. According to the proposals, it is not expected that all facilities will constantly export surpluses to the National Network, but they will themselves create most of their energy.
Private sector involvement is considered crucial, and group leader Ed Thomp called it “a very ambitious and very innovative project.” The idea is to start in the public sector, and then deploy it among social housing providers, and then in private ownership.
Solar panels use the energy of the sun to produce energy, and Tesla Powerwall accumulate them so that later households can use it.
A home upgrade costs between £25,000 and £30,000, while a less comprehensive option costs £10,000. However, retrofitting those at Craigcefnparc will cost around £55,000 per property.
It is expected that the governments of Wales and the UK will provide £15 million for the implementation of a project worth £505 million, while £376 million will be allocated by the private sector in the form of expenses for new construction and modernization, as well as loans from social housing providers.
Raising money from existing and new energy efficiency programs in Wales would bring the remaining £114 million.