Solar PV and battery storage has been installed as part of the Low Carbon Communities Initiative. Image: Ell Brown

South Cornelly is to be Wales’ first low-carbon village as part of the Low Carbon Communities Initiative, which has seen the installation of solar and battery storage.

The project is aiming to see how locally generated renewable electricity generated by solar PV can be shared with other homes nearby. A small number of households have therefore seen their properties fitted with solar panels, solar ventilation and battery storage.

The technology is linked together via home energy management software which will allow for the sharing of renewable energy with other members of the Low Carbon Community.

Launched by Bridgend County Borough Council in association with Challoch Energy, NuVision Energy Wales, Passiv UK and the Welsh government, the project is one of many the council said it is working on as part of its Bridgend 2030 decarbonisation strategy.

South Cornelly was chosen as the site for the scheme due to its size and location, with the housing fed from one substation in the middle of the village. Many of the homes are also optimally positioned to benefit from solar.

Council leader Huw David said: “By creating local energy markets such as this, where renewable electricity can be traded amongst households, we hope to empower communities in Bridgend to decarbonise and help to tackle the climate crisis head on.”

It’s hoped that if the trial scheme is successful, similar schemes could be rolled out to other areas in the future.

Other projects exploring the sharing of renewable electricity with neighbouring homes includes Project CommUNITY, launched by EDF in 2019. CommUNITY saw energy shared through a peer-to-peer trading platform using electricity generated from a rooftop solar installation at Elmore House in London.