Waste wood will produce electricity and heat in Plymouth energy centre

Waste wood that would otherwise be destined for landfill will power a CHP energy centre in Plymouth to generate about 26 GWh of electricity a year and about 10 GWh of heat. It will burn 40 000 t of waste wood a year. The plant will also produce over 1800 t of carbon a year, which can be used for applications such as gas cleaning, water filtration and filters for cooking hoods. The plant will reduce CO2 emissions by some 16 500 t to a year compared to grid supply.

The plant will convert waste wood to a gas fuel that will be burnt in a boiler to create steam that will drive a turbine to generate electricity.

The centre is the brainchild of MITIE’s asset-management business, O-Gen UK and the Una Group — which have come together to form a new energy-services company O-Gen Plymtrek.

Mike Tivey, managing director of MITIE’s asset-management business, says, ‘Generating energy from waste material is an important part of the fast-growing decentralised energy market, which provides organisations and communities with secure, locally generated power and heat for the future.’

The South West Regional Development Agency has given a grant of £525 000 to the new energy centre in recognition of the impact it will have on the local economy by creating jobs. The plant will create 23 local jobs when it is operational in Summer 2012 and 50 for contractors in the construction phase.

MITIE’s asset-management business will operate and maintain the plant, which uses technology provided by O-Gen UK, during a 10-year contract. The technology is eligible for the enhanced Government’s Renewables Obligation Certificate as an advanced thermal-conversion technology.

The UK produces 4.5 Mt of waste wood a year, and it is estimated that recovering energy from a million tonnes would generate 1300 GWh of electricity and save 1.15 Mt of CO2 equivalent emissions.

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