One of the world’s first net zero carbon neighbourhoods will be constructed in Wales after Neath Port Talbot council approved the development of 35 homes able to generate more clean energy than they use.

Development of the £8m project in Pontardawe in south Wales is expected to begin this spring. The residents of Parc Hadau will pay no energy bills because the development will use a mixture of renewable energy technologies to generate enough clean electricity to power its homes over the year.

The two-, three- and four-bedroom homes will be equipped with solar panels and energy-storing batteries, ground-source heat pumps and innovative ventilation systems.

Sero Homes, which was founded in Wales two years ago, said Parc Hadau would provide high-quality, affordable housing through long-term index-linked leases. It will also be the first scheme to meet the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) definition of net zero carbon by tracking the development’s energy use and carbon emissions in real time.

Richard Twinn, a policy adviser at the UKGBC, said: “Meaningful action over the next 10 years will be critical to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The energy used in homes accounts for around 20% of the UK’s emissions, so if we’re going to radically reduce emissions, we need all of our new homes to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030 at the latest.”

When Parc Hadau needs to draw on electricity from the grid, such as on cold winter nights, Sero will measure the carbon intensity of the imported electricity and later export enough clean energy in return to balance the overall carbon emissions.

Read more: Future Build