TONY Blair's energy supremo has unveiled a scheme to supply electricity to 9,000 homes in Hyndburn by burning gas from a dump.

Energy and industry minister John Battle said the new £2million landfill gas generator at Whinney Hill tip, near Accrington, was 'a power station for the 21st century'.

The four-turbine generator, which took nine months to build, turns potentially dangerous methane gas into electricity which is supplied to local homes.

It is a joint project between Lancashire Waste Services and London-based Combined Landfill Projects Ltd, who footed the bill.

The scheme comes under the Government's Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation ruling which provides environmentally-friendly energy sources.

Mr Battle said: "Renewable energy projects are derided far too often, but they are performing better than we anticipated. There are 99 projects in Britain which go right across the board from wind and water to waste power.

"We are keen to see a reduction in the use of fossil fuels and there is no better way than producing energy from waste. This is a power station for the 21st century."

CLP chief executive David Fitzherbert said: "The generator produces 2.7megawatts which is sold to Norweb and distributed to local homes.

"This is a cheap, clean and effective energy source."

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