Credit: Western Solar

Western Solar’s low energy Ty Solar Home design is being utilised for two news social housing villages in North Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire in Wales.

Glen Peters, CEO at Western Solar, told Solar Power Portal that it was “just the beginning”, with the firm setting its sights on developing 1,000 properties over the next five years.

Western Solar is partnering with Coastal Housing and Pembrokeshire Housing who are beneficiaries of an innovation grant to fund the motivation of new housing ideas with a focus on sustainable living.

The Welsh government will be providing part of the funding for the project, specifically for the innovative aspects, with the housing associations are also getting a proportion of the fund from lenders.

The new projects will follow the same design used in Glanrhyd Village, where a number of homes were completed earlier this year.

The village has  been occupied by residents for the last six months. The properties are equipped with a large solar installation and include qualities such as low energy bills and a shared electric vehicle, and residents are said to have expressed “outstanding satisfaction” with the model.

Peters added: “They have come from housing where it’s cold and damp, the whole point of these houses is for people to be an able to live somewhere comfortable and warm.”

“They [the residents] are approaching the solar generation passionately and brag about scheduling high energy consuming things like their washing machines in the daytime rather than the evenings,” he added. 

Peters claimed the biggest challenge faced by solar in the UK is convincing people who want traditional electricity to make the transfer to solar.

“Once people see the major providers of housing, like councils and housing associations, start to move there should be a greater shift,” he added.