Estover Energy Ltd has won approval to build a £65m plant in the Southeast that will use wood to produce heat and power for 21,000 homes.
The company will develop the local scale biomass plant at Discovery Park, one of Europe’s leading science and technology parks, located at Sandwich, Kent, supplying renewable heat and electricity across the 220-acre site and creating significant employment opportunities.
Construction of the plant in Kent is expected to begin early next year and will create around 100 jobs, the Edinburgh-based company said.
The plant will also supply low carbon electricity to the national grid, supporting the UK’s national target to generate 15 percent of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020 as well as powering 21,000 homes.
Greg Barker, DECC – “Estover’s local-scale biomass CHP plant is an exciting opportunity to make an important contribution to our renewable energy mix. I congratulate them on this new development”
The biomass plant will use locally sourced low-grade wood fuel to generate renewable heat and power for the Park, significantly reducing its energy costs, carbon footprint and reliance on imported fossil fuel. The wood fuel will come solely from local forestry and woodlands, typically within an average distance of 80 miles.
Greg Barker, Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and MP for Bexhill and Battle said: “Estover’s local-scale biomass CHP plant is an exciting opportunity to make an important contribution to our renewable energy mix.
“By sourcing their fuel from the Southeast the wider benefits of developing a new supply chain are felt locally, helping to stimulate the rural economy and provide a much needed market to support coppice woodlands in south-east England. I congratulate them on this new development.”
Andrew Troup, development director, Estover Energy, said: “That our proposal was granted consent is testament to the Council’s commitment to renewables and its support for Discovery Park and the wider community around Sandwich. Our new biomass plant will help meet the energy challenges of the next two decades, it will be a great boost to the local economy and will stimulate long-overdue investment in the South East’s woodlands.”
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) also welcomed the approval. Dr Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, added: “Congratulations to Estover… Renewables are creating jobs and driving innovation the length and breadth of the British Isles. This is good news for our position in the global race and great news for the long-term security of our energy supply and our climate.”