Statkraft has welcomed politicians to its Rheidol hydropower plant, which is celebrating 60 years since its official opening.

The plant near Aberystwyth covers 162 square kilometres and is made up of an interconnected group of reservoirs, dams, tunnels, aqueducts, and power stations. The site generates enough electricity each year to power 40,000 homes with clean, green electricity, and is the largest of its kind in England and Wales. The Rheidol team also operate Statkraft’s UK and Ireland Control Centre, which manages its other renewable power generation projects, including wind and solar farms, as well as grid stability and battery sites helping balance Great Britain’s electricity grid. Statkraft also works in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to encourage biodiversity at the site, as well as supporting the breeding of local salmon and trout in the reservoirs.

Cefin Campbell MS and Ben Lake MP received a tour of the site from Dennis Geyermann, Statkraft’s VP of Operations and Maintenance, who introduced them to staff at the core of Statkraft’s Rheidol activities, working in health and safety, operational, and technical roles. Mr Campbell said: “As part of the energy transition in Wales, it’s important we highlight sites generating renewable power and actively investing in our rural communities. That’s why I’ve been pleased to visit Rheidol as it marks six decades since it entered operation. Statkraft’s team have done an excellent job utilising local companies to service the plant and also provide onsite training opportunities for young people locally.”

Mr Lake said: “As the energy transition moves ahead, renewable technology is becoming one of Wales’ most important driving forces of inward investment. I welcome Statkraft’s ongoing commitment to Rheidol and its plans to locate the latest renewable technologies in Wales over this decade, maximising clean power for Welsh homes and businesses. This is how we will ensure the energy transition takes people with it as we push to deliver a just energy transition.”

Mr Geyermann said: “I’m really grateful to Cefin Campbell and Ben Lake for taking the time to visit Rheidol, especially when we’re marking such a significant milestone this year. I’m very proud of our role supporting skilled renewable energy jobs in a rural part of Wales, and as the home of our control centre, as well as a hydropower scheme, which has become part of the landscape.

“We’ve got an exciting pipeline of projects here in Wales and the opportunity to create more local highly skilled jobs. I’m looking forward to seeing the importance of this site grow in the years ahead.”