Development of a controversial hydrogen plant on a former MOD site has been postponed for at least a year.

Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has plans to develop Trecwn Green Energy Hub at the former Valley MOD base. This was to be the company’s first green hydrogen project in the UK.

The Pembrokeshire plant, which was planned to be constructed on the site of a disused rail transfer shed, would have generated approximately three tonnes of green hydrogen a day.

The green hydrogen would have been extracted from water in a process powered by electricity generated by renewable energy. In this case, from three wind turbines and ground-mounted solar panels, free from carbon emissions.

The scheme had its supporters and detractors. Local environmental groups were encouraged by the commitment to low carbon fuel and processing and some locals happy to see the site being used after years of being ‘mothballed’.

Others were concerned about the size of the turbines and the volatility of the hydrogen.

An email seen by the Western Telegraph to the project's community liaison group says that ‘Statkraft have taken the decision to pause development on the project for a period of at least one to two years, but potentially longer’.

During this period it is understood that there will be no further work undertaken towards development of the wind, solar or hydrogen electrolyser elements of the project.

Although the plant was designed to run independently of the national grid, powered by wind and solar, a small grid connection was needed to maintain the equipment when there is no wind or sun.

The supply of power needed is larger than that currently available at the Trecwn Depot.Getting a new import connection is possible but will take a number of years.

The company said that, as there is no timeline for a resolution from the grid providers, it was better to pause work at Trecwn for now, rather than pursue the planning application for a plant that might not be able to be built due to the connection issue.

A spokesperson for Statkraft said: “Trecwn Green Energy Hub would play a critical part in the transition away from fossil fuels and is well placed to be a key site in the Welsh hydrogen economy.

“However, during its development we have encountered challenges with local grid infrastructure which cannot immediately be overcome.

“Grid capacity is an issue that affects many prospective business developments in a number of parts of the UK and is not isolated to Pembrokeshire.

“We're working both independently and with trade bodies in the energy sector to push for strengthen and development of the UK grid and National Grid themselves are working on this.

“As we work with industry partners to find a way forward, we have made the difficult decision to pause the project, and look forward to returning to the community and Welsh Government with new plans in the future.”

The spokesperson added that Statkraft ‘strongly believe that the Trecwn Valley is an excellent site for a development of this type’ and has not ruled out future developments at the site.