Peel Environmental’s plans for a £70m energy centre in Nottinghamshire have taken a further step forward having been approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP.
Significant investment will see a new facility developed at Bilsthorpe, exporting up to 9.6MW of low-carbon electricity to the grid – enough to power 23,000 homes.
The centre comprises two elements. The first, a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), will produce fuel and recover valuable recyclable materials from residual (left after recycling) waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.
“The Energy Centre will be a solution to some of the county’s waste challenges and will in turn create supply chain opportunities and a boost to the local economy of around £4 million per year”
The second, a gasification facility, will then use the fuel to create electricity and heat. Once built, the facility will divert up to 117,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and recover up to 22,000 tonnes of recyclable materials each year.
The facility will also create up to 330 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs during construction and 46 FTE jobs once operational.
Mr Clark agreed with an inspector’s recommendation to grant consent for the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre following examination of the proposals. A planning application for the facility was originally approved by members of Nottinghamshire County Council in 2014, but subsequently called-in for consideration by the Government.
The decision over the project was delayed after the withdrawal of Air Products from the energy-from-waste (EfW) market back in April.
Peel’s energy centre was originally given the go ahead by Nottingham County Council in 2014, but Eric Pickles, then Secretary of State for the DCLG, stepped in to delay the project.
American company Air products announced on 4 April that it intends to exit the EfW market and sell both Tees Valley 1 and 2 gasification plants – similar technology to the Waste2Tricity plant – blaming technical problems and rising costs.
DCLG responded by inviting comments on the new facility in order to come to a fully informed decision on the project.
A letter sent from DCLG to parties to the inquiry stated: “In view of this announcement by Air Products, and the fact that it was not disputed at the inquiry that the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre would use the same technology, the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to give the parties to the Bilsthorpe case an opportunity to comment on any implications which the reasons leading to this announcement might have for the Bilsthorpe scheme as currently proposed.”
Richard Barker, Development Manager at Peel Environmental, said: “There’s a need for this type of facility to provide both a solution for Nottinghamshire’s waste and to generate low-carbon energy for the region. Our plans will stimulate investment and bring new jobs to the area in addition to bringing a former industrial site back into productive use.
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s positive decision after a lengthy planning process and approval from the county council.
“The Energy Centre will be a solution to some of the county’s waste challenges and will in turn create supply chain opportunities and a boost to the local economy of around £4 million per year.”