Plans by Peel Environmental to develop a £65m Renewable Energy Centre, which will generate up to 20MW of energy, at the site of the former Houghton Main Colliery in Barnsley have been given the green light by Barnsley Council.
Members of the council’s Planning Board voted to approve the proposals, which will see a Timber Resource Recovery Centre (TRRC) built at the site, and will use biomass to generate up to 20MW of energy for export. The facility will accept up to 150,000 tonnes of fuel per year and use an advanced gasification process to generate enough energy to power around 49,000 homes.
Peel Environmental has partnered with specialist developer Northern Bio Power at Houghton Main, who will build and operate the Energy Centre.
Jane Gaston, Development Manager at Peel Environmental, said: “Our success at Houghton Main demonstrates our approach to partnership working. By forming effective early partnerships we ensure that sustainable projects are viable; deliverable; and unlock local and regional benefits.
“This decision secures a renewable future for the former colliery site, which was once a major employer in Barnsley and at the heart of powering the country. We’re pleased that the council has backed this renewable project that will help widen the energy mix and bring a significant economic boost into Barnsley.
“The Renewable Energy Centre will not only generate low-carbon energy, it will create around 200 full-time jobs during construction and 25 during operation, as well as opportunities for the supply chain.
“There is a real opportunity for the Houghton Main Renewable Energy Centre to act as a catalyst for further regeneration, as the site is surrounded by land earmarked for employment use. With the ability to provide a renewable and reliable source of energy, the Centre could unlock even further inward investment to the area.”