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Enterprise zone green power plant gets the go ahead

Estover artist impression

Renewable energy company Estover Energy has today announced that planning consent has been granted by Dover District Council for its proposal to develop a £65 million biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in the South East of England.

The company will develop the local scale biomass plant at Discovery Park located at Sandwich, Kent, supplying renewable heat and electricity across the 220-acre site. The CHP plant will also supply low carbon electricity to the national grid.

The project represents an inward investment of approximately £65 million to the area and will significantly bolster the local economy. Construction is forecast to begin in spring 2014 and approximately 100 jobs will be created during this period. Once operational, a further 20 permanent jobs in positions at the plant and a further 20 jobs in the forestry and transport sector will also be generated.

The new facility will use conventional CHP steam turbine technology to generate 11-15 MW of power and 8-12 MW of heat, which would be enough energy to supply the equivalent of 21,000 homes with electricity. 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, climate change minister 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 South East 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.”