A pioneering large scale mine-water energy project is on the way for Caerau, a small ex-mining community at the top of the Llynfi Valley. A UK first, the ground-breaking multi-million pound initiative will see the extraction of naturally heated underground water from mine workings at the former Caerau Colliery site distributed via a network of pipes to heat local homes, a school and a church in Caerau.
Extraction of the geothermal energy source has been agreed by the Welsh Labour Government and working in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council has seen the Authority being successful in securing funding for the project against stiff competition across the UK and EU. 6.5 million pounds of EU funding has been awarded to the local authority via the Welsh Labour Government.
A recent site visit allowed representatives to discuss the project and hear how the scheme will benefit the local community creating jobs whilst offering training and educational opportunities.
Ogmore representatives, Assembly Member and Welsh Government Minister Huw Irranca-Davies and Chris Elmore MP were on the site and following the visit spoke in praise of the exiting new venture.
Huw Irranca-Davies AM stated: “Delighted to see successful joint working with our Welsh Labour Government and Bridgend County Borough Council leading to a fantastic opportunity for residents living in Caerau and surrounding areas. The educational opportunities are vast and scope for local employment along with the status of being the first in the UK to host this pioneering technology will put Caerau firmly on the map. Big things are certainly happening in the top end of the Llynfi Valley.”
Chris Elmore MP stated: “Congratulations to all those who are helping to get this project off the ground. It really is brilliant to see such positive collaboration from the Welsh Labour Government, Bridgend County Borough Council, the European Union, Cardiff University and others. Great to see this renewable investment helping to support Caerau’s local economy.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the first homes being connected to the system in winter 2021. An exhibition is also planned for spring 2018 when findings from the feasibility study will be shared with Caerau residents and anyone else interested in the project. To find out more see http://bit.ly/2mXFy5d
Attendees of site visit included: Representatives from Cardiff University, the British Geological Survey, Welsh European Funding Office, Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Councillor Huw David along with other BCBC representatives, Chris Elmore MP, Ogmore Assembly Member and Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies AM