RWE Innogy announces biomass, biogas projects

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted Oct. 1, 2008 at 3:48 p.m. CST

RWE Innogy UK, an energy company which plans, builds and operates renewable power generation facilities in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, recently announced two separate European power plant ventures.

On Sept. 25, RWE Innogy released plans to build a 6.5 megawatt thermal capacity biogas power plant in the municipality of G�tergl�ck at Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Contracted by Gelsenkirchen, Germany-based Hese Biogas GmbH, a Schmack Biogas group company, the plant will run on feedstock acquired through regional farmers.

Construction is planned to commence in October and completion is expected to be achieved in the summer of 2009. Fritz Vahrenholt, chief executive officer of RWE Innogy, said the company's goal is to increase biogas activities in Germany, and build another 10 similar plants by 2012.

The plant's biogas product, which will be fed into the local natural gas network upon meeting natural gas specifications, will be marketed by RWE's sales subsidiary, RWE Energy.

On Sept. 26, RWE Innogy announced it has acquired 100 percent of development and operation rights to Helius Energy PLC's 65-megawatt biomass power plant which will be built in North East Lincolnshire, U.K.

The power station, which Biomass Magazine reported received building consent from U.K. Energy Minister Malcom Wicks on June 30, will be designed to run on wood residuals and forest biomass. According to a press release issued by RWE Innogy, the company has been in discussions with companies interested in using the thermal output.

"Overall, we intend to increase the generation of electricity and heat from solid biomass almost five-fold to 600 megawatts in Europe by 2011," said Vahrenholt. "The U.K. is an extremely important market for these growth plans."

RWE NPower, RWE Innogy's sister company, is involved in a joint venture with Tullis Russell Papermakers to build a 45 megawatt biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Markinch, Scotland. As reported in Biomass Magazine, the new facility will replace Tullis Russell's existing coal fired plant and is expected to be operational by 2011. To read the story, click here.