North Lincolnshire Council backs renewable energy plant
January 15, 2010
Drax Power Limited (”Drax”), the developer of the Heron Renewable Energy Plant, is delighted to announce that North Lincolnshire Council has decided not to object to its application for 290MW biomass-fired power station that will provide enough green energy to meet the needs of 512,000 homes. The North Lincolnshire Planning Committee voted unanimously to back the proposal in their response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Marvin Seaman, project manager at Drax, said “We are exceptionally pleased that the area planning committee voted in favour of the development. We believe the site is in an ideal location and we know that the proposal has strong backing from the local community. The project will bring many benefits to the local business and residents in the Immingham and South Killingholme areas.”
The proposal is to site the Heron Renewable Energy Plant near the western entrance at the Port of Immingham on land that is designated for commercial and industrial use. The vote by the Planning Committee clears the way for the Department of Energy and Climate Change to make the ultimate decision on whether the proposal gains planning consent. The Energy Minister is expected to make the announcement later this year following final scrutiny of all aspects of the scheme.
Marvin Seaman added: “We are very pleased with the public endorsement received for our plans to develop a renewable energy plant. The feedback we received shows that support for the project has grown and we continue to enjoy constructive dialogue with stakeholders in the region.”
Local MP Shona McIsaac said: “This is fantastic news. Our area is already one of this country’s biggest energy producers and this initiative will put us at the forefront of renewable energy generation.
“The project will create hundreds of jobs in the construction phase as well as full-time jobs when the energy plant is completed. In addition to giving the local economy a real boost, this project has the benefit of using renewable resources which helps to reduce carbon emissions. Great news all round.”
Cllr Mark Kirk, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is further good news for the South Humber Gateway which is fast becoming the UK’s global gateway in the North.
“We are attracting a lot of key interest in this area and this is not surprising as it is ideally located with great sea, air, road and rail links.”
As a company, Drax is committed to reducing not only its carbon footprint, but that of UK power generation. The Heron Renewable Energy plant is proof of Drax delivering on this commitment.
If planning consent is granted, construction will begin in 2012 and it is expected that the new plant will begin generating electricity in 2015. Up to 850 construction jobs and 150 operational jobs will be created.
About Drax Power Limited
1. Drax Power Limited (”Drax”) is the operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc and the owner of Drax Power Station, the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal fired power station in the UK. The output capacity from the station’s six generators is 4,000MW. At current output levels it meets some 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.
2. Drax Power Station has been burning a proportion of renewable biomass fuel alongside coal for a number of years and is currently building a new co-firing facility to increase the capacity for co-firing to 500MW, or 12.5% of the total output. This will make Drax Power Station the largest co-firing project in the world, saving over two-and-a-half million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, through the displacement of conventional fossil fuels.
3. Drax is also undertaking the largest steam turbine modernisation project in UK history at Drax Power Station, which will increase the power station’s efficiency and save an additional one million tonnes of CO2 a year.
4. In October 2008, Drax announced it intention to develop three 300MW renewable energy plants in partnership with Siemens Project Ventures, a group company of Siemens Financial Services. Once operational these plants, together with the renewable output from the co-firing capacity at Drax Power Station, will mean that Drax will be responsible for around 15% of the UK’s renewable electricity, equivalent to the output of approaching 2,000 wind turbines, and for supplying around 10% of the UK’s total electricity, enough to power around seven million homes.
5. As well as the potential site at Immingham, the company is currently investigating other locations for renewable energy plants.
About Heron Renewable Energy Plant
6. The site at Immingham has been selected as a potential location for a dedicated biomass-fired power station due to its proximity to the existing infrastructure, including connection to the electricity transmission network, water supply and discharge capability and transport facilities.
7. The plant will be water-cooled, using water from the nearby Humber Estuary, and biomass fuel will be transferred to the site via enclosed conveyors from off-loading facilities. Electricity will be exported from the plant on to the national electricity transmission network.
8. The plant will consume approximately 1.4 – 2.5 million tonnes of biomass per year (dependent upon the actual types of biomass material used).
About biomass fuels
9. Biomass is organic material derived from animals, plants and vegetables. A huge range of materials constitute biomass, but the main ones being considered by Drax for generating electricity include:
- Wood from forestry or timber processing
- Crops grown specifically for energy generation
- Agricultural residues from harvesting or processing, eg, straw or grain husks
- Clean recovered wood and paper
10. Biomass absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere while it is growing offsetting those emissions when it is converted to energy. In any case, the release of carbon would happen naturally as the biomass material eventually dies and decays. Converting it to energy merely accelerates this process. As a result, the use of biomass avoids a net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.
11. The UK Government is encouraging the use of biomass to reduce CO2 emissions and Drax is at the forefront of establishing effective supply chains and sustainability standards for biomass fuels.