AFTER a long and bumpy journey, a community group from North Pembrokeshire has installed a 700kW wind turbine on Trefawr Farm in Llanfyrnach.

Cwm Arian Renewable Energy - a community benefit society run by local residents and based in Hermon Community Resource Centre near Crymych – were relieved to see the community wind turbine installed by the beginning of October.

The project received planning permission from the Welsh Government in 2016 for the 61 meter high wind turbine, which is set to generate over 2,000 MWh every year - enough electricity to power around 500 homes each year. All the profits gained from selling the electricity will be paid into a community fund, which will be distributed to local community projects, businesses and individuals for activities which benefit local people and the environment.

"We've worked really hard for over a decade to make this project happen" said Cwm Arian director Holly Cross. "It hasn't been easy, but we've been determined to see it through because it's just such a good idea to make money for the community from clean energy."

The group has been supported with advice and development funding from the Welsh Government Energy Service, and in May this year was offered a low interest loan from Development Bank of Wales to enable them to buy and install the wind turbine It was delivered and installed on October 12, and after a few weeks of tests and checks, will start generating electricity, and money.

Daniel Blackburn, who is also a director of Cwm Arian and part of the small team of locals working hard to realise the project, is hoping for a windy winter.

"We've heard from the pioneers of Welsh community renewable projects like Transition Bro Gwaun and Awel Aman Tawe that their community wind turbines have generated quite a lot more income than they had expected, so we're hoping it'll be the same for our community," he said.

The project will be opening a community share offer in 2020, and is benefitting from the chairman Cris Tomos' experience of setting up successful community share offers that have helped people take ownership of their assets across the county.

"We're looking forward to inviting local people to become members of Cwm Arian and invest in the renewable energy scheme," he said. "Even a small investment will earn them a better interest rate on their savings than if they keep their money in the bank, and will also help Cwm Arian pay back the bank loan sooner so the community fund will grow quicker - it's a win-win situation for everyone.

"With climate change and environmental problems in the news almost every day, Cwm Arian Renewable Energy is showing what a small group of determined individuals can do to find solutions for a greener future for their community."

To find out more about Cwm Arian Renewable Energy's wind turbine project, and keep up to date about the community share offer and the other sustainability projects they are running in north Pembrokeshire, visit their Facebook page or their website or email