2012 Olympics to be powered by biomass

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted July 11, 2008 at 10:36 a.m. CST

As the world watches China prepare for the 2008 summer Olympics, London is preparing for its chance to show the world what it's capable of when the city hosts the 2012 summer Olympics.

Paris-based Suez Energy Services was recently awarded a $178 million contract for its subsidiary Elyo to build, finance and operate two energy centers that will use biomass to power the Olympic Park and its surrounding areas during the Olympics, as well as for communities developed after 2012.

"The Energy Center will be at the heart of the new utilities networks in the Olympic Park, providing heating and cooling for the games and to local communities in legacy," said Olympic Delivery Authority Chief Executive David Higgins. "Sustainability runs right through this project and our energy center plans will ensure the games deliver the lasting legacy of a sustainable energy supply for this part of east London."

Elyo will use a combined cooling heat and power plant to simultaneously produce heating, cooling and electricity. It will also equip the plants with biomass boilers. The Olympic Delivery Authority said the boilers will use a combination of sustainable biomass fuel and natural gas for feedstock. The design of the centers will allow for the use of future technologies to be easily implemented as they are developed.

Construction on the energy centers will begin later this summer. One will be located in the west end of Olympic Park; the other will be built in the nearby Stratford City community.