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New green installation set to help power city centre market

Swansea Market is turning to solar power to help the city tackle the climate emergency.

SolarMarket

More than 40 photovoltaic panels have been fitted to the roof to increase the venue's green credentials.

The 80 sq m surface of the panels is expected to provide more than 5% of the market's power - and to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by three tonnes.

Other carbon-reduction measures already in place at the Swansea Council-run facility include LED lighting in the offices and in other locations plus recycling amenities for the treatment of waste.

Andrea Lewis,the council'sjoint deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, energy and service transformation, said: "The council has pledged to do all it can to help fix the problems of climate change that our generation has largely created.

"As a council we've been cutting our carbon footprint year after year and we want this and future work to be an example to our communities.

"Our investment in solar panels at the market is another example of our intentions."

Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "The market is home to more than 100 stalls and, in normal times, attracts many thousands of shoppers every week.

"It's a jewel in our retail crown and, by helping fight the climate emergency, it's setting a powerful example to the whole community."

The electricity generated by the new panels will feed directly into the market's supply.

Installation contractor Ameresco, a renewable energy specialist, completed the work this month.

The project forms part of a wider improvement plan which has seen new public toilets installed. An informal public area for eating, seating, meeting and events is also planned and was the subject of public consultation. The public entrances to the market will be upgraded. All the improvements are part of the market's post-Covid recovery plan.

Already, Swansea Council has the largest electric fleet of vehicles of any local authority in Wales, is enabling schools to go net carbon zero by generating solar power on their roofs and is fitting a new generation of energy-efficient lights to the city's network of street lighting.

The council's pension fund is actively divesting from energy-rich businesses and investing in energy-efficiency projects around the world.

The council is committed to supporting the Dragon Energy Island project which would be one of the biggest integrated green energy projects in the world, and is supporting the creation of solar farms and the Swansea Bay Metro transport system.

The aim is also to install solar panels at other council locations including the Guildhall.

Swansea Bus Station was fitted with solar panels in December. The council's Heol y Gors depot has them too.

Other carbon-reduction measures being put in place across the council's existing property portfolio include LED lighting upgrades and building insulation.

The measures will play a significant role in achieving the council's carbon and energy reduction ambitions.

In December members from across Swansea Council's political spectrum became the first signatories of the council's Charter on Climate Action.

Other people and organisations around the city will soon have the chance to sign the charter online.

It is a visible public reminder that the council aims to become net zero carbon by 2030 - and aims to make the city net zero by 2050.

The charter follows on from a Notice of Motion agreed by Council in June 2019, to declare a Climate Emergency.

The council is also developing an action plan to engage local businesses and organisations to join the effort to create a green, net zero city by 2050.

More on the council's work on climate change: www.swansea.gov.uk/climatechange

More on the market, including pandemic latest: www.swanseaindoormarket.co.uk

Photo: New solar panels on the roof of Swansea Market.

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