The owner of the first solar park to generate electricity in Wales, is encouraging more people to get involved and start up small-scale solar power developments.

The 2.78-hectare solar park at Rhosygilwen, which boasts 10,000 panels, will receive 31p per kilowatt hour through the Government’s feed in tariff, however, large scale developments started after August 1st will not benefit from the same rate.

“We need to develop energy security in this country as we are so highly reliant on oil and gas coming in from the Middle East,” said solar park owner Dr Glen Peters.

“We need to have more independent energy production.”

He said solar power was a much cheaper option, which could provide security for 30 to 40 years.

He added: “I hope people will do smaller schemes. If we have a few of them all over, that will provide energy security. You’ve got to encourage investors to do these things. Energy security does cost money.”

“It’s like planting trees, you plant trees so future generations can benefit from them.”

Dr Peters said he was proud to have built the first solar park in Wales.

“It’s a beautiful piece of engineering,” he said.

“They look fantastic. I hope they perform as well as they look.”

The site has permission to double the number of solar panels to generate two megawatts of electricity, however, as Mr Peters was unable to secure money from a bank, he decided to go it alone, investing £2.5million in the scheme.

“Even one megawatt will make this area of north Pembrokeshire carbon neutral,” he added.

“As we start to produce power and demonstrate the system works, perhaps the banks will be more willing.

“We want this to be part of the estate, it produces power for us and a revenue stream for the arts centre.”

The solar panels have been arranged in a way that allows rain to fall between the panels and only a 15% reduction in grass growth is anticipated, meaning the land can still be used for agriculture.