UK bioenergy plant begins commercial operations

By Erin Voegele | September 17, 2018

On Sept. 14, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners announced that Kent Renewable Energy, a 27 MW wood-fired combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant located in Sandwich, U.K., has successfully commenced operations.

Construction on the plant began in mid-2016 and was completed on budget and two months ahead of schedule—only 25 months after financial close. Commissioning began in February 2018. The plant began commercial operations on Sept. 13. 

BWSC acted as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project and will continue as the facility’s operations and maintenance contractor.

The plant is fueled with locally sourced wood supplied by EuroForest. Information released by CIP indicates the facility is creating a new reliable market for low-grade wood that is otherwise difficult to make use of. The plant is expected to make woodland management in the region more economic, helping local wood producers to diversify, bringing more woodland back into active management, and supporting the production of higher quality wood and coppice.

The facility produces heat and power that is sold to Discovery Park and to local power consumers connected to U.K. Power Networks’ grid. The plant’s 27 MW capacity is expected to serve approximately 50,000 homes and offset approximately 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Kent Renewable Energy is majority owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure II. BWSC and Estover Energy also hold ownership in the plant. The company is fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Kent Renewable Energy will operate under the Renewables Obligation Certificate regime for power and under the Renewable Heat Incentive for heat.