“ After the fight we had a few years ago to see off plans for an open-air sewage sludge farm on this site, it is encouraging to see these proposals for solar photovoltaic cells which produce electricity. Unlike the sewage, they won’t stink, they won’t pollute and there won’t be constant heavy lorry traffic, once the construction phase is over. The panels will feed the electricity they produce into the National Grid, using infrastructure already on site from when it was a coalmine; Yes, you need a lot of panels for a modest amount of electricity, and they are not cheap, but recent sharp rises in the price of oil have reminded us how important it is to develop alternatives to imported oil.
These plans are made financially viable by the premium price paid for electricity from such installations, as from similar domestic ones, the price known as Feed-In Tariffs that Labour brought in when Ed Miliband was Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. These same feed-in tariffs have given the industry the certainty it needs, creating 300 new jobs at the Wrexham solar panel factory and helping secure jobs at our local solar panel factory in Ponthenri.