The Swansea Labour-led council continue to do their bit to tackle climate change with the latest move seeing the city’s indoor market turning to solar power.
And Hannah Lawson, the prospective Labour candidate for the Castle Ward, which includes the market, has welcomed the solar power initiative.
“It’s so encouraging to see this increase in renewable energy in our city centre,” she said.
“Along with upcoming developments like the Biophilic Living building and increasing green spaces, Castle Ward is taking some positive steps to tackling climate change.
“Visiting the market is always a highlight of Swansea shopping for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing the improvement in facilities once restrictions are lifted and it reopens fully.
The positive move in backing up the council’s green credentials sees more than 40 photovoltaic panels being fitted to the indoor market’s roof.
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.
The Swansea Council-run facility already has LED lighting in the offices and in other locations plus recycling amenities for the treatment of waste.
Labour Cllr Andrea Lewis, the council’s joint 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.”
Labour Cllr 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.
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
Get your Castle Ward newsletter here: https://www.swansealabourcouncillors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Castle-Ward-Newsletter-2021.pdf