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King’s green energy firm probed over ‘gas leak’

Image: I T S / Shutterstock

A green energy firm part-owned by Prince William was investigated for numerous health and safety breaches after an alleged unauthorised leak of over 1,000 tonnes of global-heating gases.

The Environment Agency described the incident, which took place in 2020 and lasted for 38 days, as “significant”, and the JV Energen plant in Dorset was investigated for further breaches involving “flammable and toxic” substances.

JV Energen uses crops to generate gas and electricity, providing a source of power for the local community – the process also produces fertilizers for nearby farms.

The plant, located at Rainbarrow Farm, is majority-owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, a hereditary estate overseen for decades by Prince William’s father, King Charles.

The Duchy of Cornwall insisted that the leak’s negative impact was “completely immaterial” compared to the provision of renewable energy.

A Duchy of Cornwall spokesperson told ELN: “The Duchy of Cornwall is a responsible landowner committed to sustainability and continues to invest in renewable energy and reduce the estate’s carbon footprint.

“The anaerobic digester and biomethane-to-grid plant in Poundbury was the first of its kind in the UK, providing renewable energy direct to the local community and across Dorset. It continues to work with all regulators and bodies to ensure it meets all rules and regulations in this space.”

A Health and Safety Executive spokesperson told ELN: “Improvement notices were issued to this firm. We continue to work with the company to ensure sustained compliance.”

ELN has reached out to JV Energen for comment.

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