A BEACHSIDE caravan park that attracts tourists for coastal sunshine has now harnessed solar energy to power its mobile homes – and save money in the process.

The third generation of the Owen family which has owned Ty Gwyn Holiday Park, Towyn since 1938 have stepped up their ‘green’ credentials with no fewer than 86 solar panels.

Brother and sister Rhodri and Angharad have introduced renewable electricity tariffs and recycling policies, however they expect the new £23,000 system will turn out to be their most profitable by saving over £4,000 annually – paying for itself within six years.

They subscribed the expertise of David Jones, managing director of Denbigh energy firm Hafod Renewables, who wants to “educate the holiday park sector that there are cleaner, more sustainable and cheaper ways to provide electricity for their sites”.

The plan is perfect for Rhodri at a time when he faces a rise in electricity costs, increased demand and possible supply issues on the caravan park, just yards from Towyn beach.

“Our customers have an increasing awareness of green issues and are looking to exceed their expectations on this,” Rhodri said.

“As a high consumer of energy, part of our green drive is to move all our electric to cleaner energy sources.”

In the past 12 months Hafod Renewables has provided solar systems for a wide range of customers, including construction contractors, popular bread-maker Henllan Bakery, a number of dairy farms and even the world’s oldest heritage railway, the Talyllyn Railway.

Mr Jones, who set up the firm with his father Richard in 2011, said solar energy “makes sense” for caravan parks because they are at peak business during the sunniest and warmest months of the year.

“Ty Gwyn also have a number of buildings with roofs suitable for solar panels and so the new system is spread over five different buildings and generates 34.4 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to run eight homes and easily tops up their mains supply,” he said.

“Renewable energy isn’t a Cinderella-style operation anymore. It’s a real contender and one with a better, cheaper long-term future than fossil-fuel or even nuclear generated power.”