A new Welsh energy-positive technology centre is on schedule for completion by December.
The Bay Technology Centre, in Neath Port Talbot, includes sustainable features such as specialist photovoltaic panels made to look like cladding, and a ‘thermal mass’ of exposed precast floor slabs to store and transfer heat from the building.
Construction was timed to avoid disruption to local wildlife, and landscaping will include a mix of grass and wildflowers to the site.
The council-backed £7.9m three-storey office and laboratory space offers units for start-up companies, local businesses and inward investors.
Neath Port Talbot has a number of developments under way which support innovation and low carbon growth, including SPECIFIC, (an innovation and knowledge centre), the Hydrogen Research Centre, The Flexible Integrated Energy Systems Project (FLEXIS) and the TWI Technology Centre (Wales).
The area has strong links with academia, and a number of established innovation research centres, specialising in hydrogen, energy systems, and other cutting-edge technologies.
A council spokesperson said: “We are close to completing a state-of-the-art, hybrid building the design of which ties in perfectly with the council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy (DARE) Strategy for a cleaner, greener future for everyone.”
The initiative has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Government and UK Government through the £58.7m Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth Programme, part of the £1.8bn Swansea Bay City Deal regional investment project.