Welsh town turns to solar power

Porthcawl in Wales has become the first UK town to run festive lights on solar power.

Derbyshire-based floral features supplier Plantscape has fitted 88 solar-powered illuminated Christmas trees to 44 poles in the town centre. Each artificial tree sits in a planter and is covered with LED lights. The base holds the battery, which is charged by the solar panel on top of the tree. The lights switch on automatically when dark.

Plantscape managing director Mark Stone said the system had obvious health and safety benefits - the units are self-contained, reducing the need to wire them into lamp posts, and they can be installed without the need for ladders or cherry pickers.

Porthcawl Town Council mayor Alana Davies said money would be saved on electricity bills and maintenance. "No-one in the town has ever heard of solar-powered Christmas lights before, but we believe they are the future. We are really looking forward to seeing them in action."

He believes the "safe, eco-friendly alternative to traditional lights" will revolutionise the market.

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