Swedish energy giant Vattenfall is to start construction on its first solar farm in the UK later this month.

The 5MW Parc Cynog Solar Farm, to be constructed at the site of one of the firm’s operational wind farms, is expected to complete and start generation by March.

Nearly 19,000 panels are to be fitted at the site, located at Castle Lloyd Farm in Camarthenshire, and deliveries will be made via Swansea Docks over the three-month long construction phase.

The project was first announced last July and was approved by Carmarthenshire County Council in November. The firm said co-locating solar with wind “makes technical sense” due to the two renewables sources often generating at different times.

“And it makes a lot of sense for Vattenfall to maximise the clean energy potential of its sites as we support Wales's drive towards a low carbon and home grown energy supply,” Daniel Wills, associate project manager at Vattenfall, said.

The firm had been consulting with the local community prior to submitting a planning application and has confirmed it is to offer solar panels to local residents free of charge. Feasibility studies on the installations have now started.

Carmarthenshire County councillor Jane Tremlett said that the community had benefitted from funds provided by the wind farm and provided the local area with facilities it would not otherwise have been able to afford.

“We hope to benefit further by receiving solar panels to generate clean, sustainable energy to supply our community buildings,” Tremlett added.