Thanks to the windfall from the renewable energy giant, a Vale of the Clwyd village hall might be the greenest in Wales. The structure at Llanbedr DC, near Ruthin, originates from the First World War, but with the brand-new air-source heating system, it feels extremely 21st-century. Hafod Renewables of Tremeirchion, an award-winning green energy firm, installed it with the support of a £6,700 grant from Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm Fund.

It’s part of a £700,000 yearly windfall for rural Conwy and Denbighshire communities and companies from the fund that is managed by the Community and Voluntary Support Conwy. The advanced air-source heating, which costs £8,500, isn’t the hall’s only environmentally friendly feature; it also includes solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and plans to build an outdoor green gym.

“They did possess an old air-source program here, but it was constantly breaking down, and they were sending us out to fix it – in the end, we did it free of charge since they’d had so many call-outs,” said David Jones, who serves as the Managing Director of the Hafod Renewables.

On the other hand, these grants have been fantastic for the Village Hall and many other communities, and Llanbedr now has a contemporary and up-to-date system to match their other renewables.

“They’re pretty much off the grid here. It only required us a day to deploy and will last them for 25 years; we’ll only need to visit them once a year for maintenance.”  It’s also fantastic that Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm, which is a renewable energy source, is subsidizing the Village Hall’s renewable energy needs.” Huw Williams, the Denbighshire County Councillor, who chairs the Village Hall Committee, said, “The village hall has been at the center of the community and has been very well utilized.” With the new air-source system, rainwater recycling, solar panels, and proposals for a green gym that is outside with eco-friendly equipment, the hall is now as green as it can be. “The old system we had was constantly breaking down, but thanks to the Wind Farm Fund and Hafod Renewables, we were able to replace it with a brand new one.”

Air-source heating works similarly to a refrigerator in reverse, converting outside temperatures to be as low as -20°C to up to 25°C indoors as well as heating water to 65°C via a heat exchanger. At the same time, it’s simple to retrofit into older homes. “The village hall is well used,” remarked local resident Gwenda Williams. Many local organizations utilize it for everything from sewing to yoga. Every month, a group of Manchester model train enthusiasts comes to put up their railway, that is kept in the hall, and spent the day running it.”

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