RWE officially opens 65 MW Markinch biomass plant

By Erin Voegele | March 09, 2015

RWE Innogy has officially unveiled its 65 MW biomass-fired combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility in Fife, Scotland. The Markinch facility was opened March 5 by Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP.

According to RWE, the state-of-the-art facility replaces an outdated coal- and gas-fired CHP power station on the site of Tullis Russell, a paper and board manufacturer. The new plant provides all of Tullis Russell’s electricity and steam requirements. Excess electricity is being fed into local networks, where it powers approximately 45,000 homes. RWE noted the plant has been generating power since February 2014. Construction began on the project in 2009.

RWE indicated the facility is fueled by approximately 90 percent recovered wood waste and 10 percent virgin wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. The new biomass-fired facility will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 250,000 metric tons per year.

The project received an £8.1 million ($12.25 million) Regional Selective Assistance grant from the Scottish government and Forestry Commission Scotland has agreed to a long term contract to provide 750,000 metric tons of timber to the plant over the next 10 years.

 “I am delighted to open the Markinch CHP biomass plant,” Ewing said. “This is the largest of its kind in the U.K. and is not only an asset to Scotland but will also help us deliver our target of 11 percent of non-electrical heat demand by renewable sources by 2020.”