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This week. Nia Griffith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, was taken by local MP Ian Lucas to visit Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s anaerobic digester which is part of their flagship energy park at Five Fords just outside Wrexham.

The anaerobic digester is appropriately situated at the sewage treatment works, and produces methane gas, which, once cleaned of carbon dioxide and, when necessary, marginally adjusted with a propane top-up, is fed directly into  a gas main and sold to Wales and West Utilities. The energy park also houses solar panels generating 2MW of electricity, though plans for expansion have been severely curtailed by the Government’s high-handed decision to impose a sudden cut to the feed-in tariff, which is scuppering the viability of such projects. Welsh Water is also planning a wind turbine and a mini hydro scheme for the site, which will all contribute to the 90 Gigawatt output from their energy installations across Wales, and they hope too, in the future, that they will be able to open a visitors’ centre at Five Fords.

Commenting on the visit Nia Griffith MP said, “It was very interesting to hear about the energy mix planned here, including a proposed mini hydro scheme and a wind turbine, and to see the solar panels and the anaerobic digester, which is working here at a sewage works, where it is possible to control the feedstock carefully, and the infrastructure is here to feed into the gas grid.

It is a disgrace that the Tory government is throwing plans for further solar panels into chaos, through their high handed imposition of sudden cuts to the feed in tariff. Like entrepreneurs up and down the country, Welsh Water will now be scrabbling to get what solar panels they can installed by the December deadline, and then just abandoning any unfulfilled plans as simply not viable. The knock-on job losses in the solar panel industry will be devastating, and put paid to the any pretense the Prime Minister ever had of being the greenest government ever.”