Heron Renewable Plant

Heron Renewable Plant

Posted on 25th June 2012

Drax and Siemens Project Ventures have announced plans to develop a 290MW dedicated biomass-fired renewable energy plant on a site at the south west edge of the Port of Immingham.

The power produced by the Heron Renewable Energy Plant will, over its lifetime, contribute positively to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from UK power generation. The plant is predicted to result in a saving of 1,800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, and to provide enough renewable electricity to power 512,000 homes.

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. The plant will consume approximately 1.4 million tonnes of biomass per year (dependent upon the actual types of biomass material used).

Although imported biomass will initially make up much of the fuel source, Drax is keen to develop the use of indigenous biomass fuels where available and the company is encouraging the development of local energy crops and other renewable supplies. Drax is also committed to investigating options for increasing the overall efficiency of the plant through the supply of surplus steam and/or heat to local industry or housing.

The plant will be water-cooled, using water from the nearby Humber Estuary, and biomass fuel will be transferred to the site via conveyors from off-loading facilities. Electricity will be exported from the plant on to the national electricity transmission network.

As part of the planning application process, Drax consulted with North Lincolnshire Council, the Environment Agency, Natural England, members of the public and a range of other organisations.

Local public exhibitions were organised so that interested members of the public could take a closer look at the project proposals and discuss the plans on a one-to-one basis. Once the local public exhibitions took place Drax examined all the views expressed by local residents and other interested parties. Feedback from 92 questionnaires showed that 69.5% of people were very positive towards the proposal, 21.7% took a neutral view, 1.1% gave no reply and only 7.6% were negetive towards the proposal.

The public exhibitions were held at Immingham Resource Centre on Wednesday 29 April 2009 and South Killingholme Community Centre on Thursday 30 April 2009 and Friday 1 May 2009 from 2pm to 8pm.

In August 2011, consent to develop the power station was granted by the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry MP. However, any progress with the investment will be dependent on the Government’s final decision on the future support levels under the Renewables Obligation.

Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive at Drax, explained: “Our venture into dedicated biomass-fired electricity generation underpins our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of UK electricity production.”

The renewable energy plant will bring significant economic benefits to the local community. For the area surrounding the development at Immingham it will mean:

• Up to 850 jobs during the three-year construction period

• Contract opportunities for local businesses during the construction period

• Up to 150 local jobs through direct and contract employment opportunities once the plant is operational


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