WALES’ national coal mining museum is now benefitting from solar energy following the installation of PV panels, which will bring in an income of around £400,000 over the next 25 years.

Big Pit has installed 200 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the Big Pit museum building in Blaenavon.

They have also fitted a further 200 panels to the roof of the National Collection Centre in Nantgarw.

The installation, paid for by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales’ own resources, cost around £70,000.

The panels will generate electricity, 100% of which will be used on the site and any surplus fed into the grid to earn additional funds for the museum.

National Museum Wales will make savings of around 5 million kWh over 25 years and also benefit from the Feed in Tariff for this period.

Museum Manager at Big Pit, Peter Walker, said: “Coal is such an important part of Wales’ heritage and yet green energy will play a major part in its future. A solar powered coal mining museum is a fantastic way to celebrate this national journey.

"But it’s far from just symbolic - the museum will benefit from huge reductions in energy bills and a solid return from the Feed in Tariff.”

The new system is set to help save 44,813kg of CO2, which will significantly reduce the National Museum of Wales’ carbon footprint.