St. Oswald's - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group was most fortunate to be invited to visit St Oswald's Community Centre, Jeffreyston for their most recent meeting (28th May). The Group invited members of Saundersfoot Community Council and the Regency Hall Committee to join them. The aim was to see at first hand the enormous advantages accruing both in environmental and financial terms in implementing policies of sustainable green energy. At St Oswald's, water is heated using solar panels, electricity is generated using Photo Voltaic solar cells, space heating is provided by a wood pellet boiler, insulation by a sedum roof and grey water is collected from the roof, filtered and used for toilets and non-drinking purposes.
It is obvious how this benefits the environment – heating from burning carbon neutral wood and water heating and electricity straight from the sun. The need for using carbon dioxide producing fossil fuels is small indeed. However what amazed members of the Energy Group were the financial benefits flowing from this green approach. Over ninety per cent of the capital costs involved in building the Centre were covered by generous grant funding – available for community projects using green energy. And if this were not enough the running were costs were unbelievably low – a six month water bill amounting to just £28. Maintenance costs were equally impressive.
The Group found it most inspiring to see how the theoretical ideas they had often discussed had been so effectively put into practice.
The Chair of the Group thanked County Councillor and Mrs Lewis and Emma Radcliffe for their kindness in extending such a warm welcome and also for displaying such a high level of expertise in all areas of green energy. In particular Councillor Lewis was thanked for his graphic and detailed presentation of the development of the project. He highlighted its current undoubted benefit to the whole community of Jeffreyston. It served as an example to us all of what could be achieved.
The meeting continued with the Chair thanking Saundersfoot Community Council for their continued generous financial support – this will be essential towards the running costs of the Group.
It was announced that the next meeting of the Group would be on Thursday 18th June 2009 at 7.00pm in the Regency Hall Saundersfoot. The speaker for the evening will be Lorraine Dallmeier, Senior Project Manager at Infinergy – the wind farm development company currently operating at the Castle Pill site near Milford Haven. The group originated in the Netherlands (KDE Energy) and is currently involved in 12 projects across the UK. On Wednesday 17th June 2009 Infinergy will be offering the opportunity for members of the public to see the Castle Pill project in operation (2.00pm to 8.00pm, meeting at Technium, Pembroke Dock).
Lorraine will show how Infinergy is most concerned to work with local communities and strives to achieve a real community benefit in their areas of operation. Time will be allowed after the presentation for a question and answer session when it is hoped that any concerns regarding wind farms will be aired. These will be sympathetically addressed. All members of the public are cordially invited to attend.
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|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|