Green light for Dalkia's England biomass power plant

By Anna Austin | December 28, 2011

U.K. Energy Minister Charles Hendry has granted consent to Dalkia BioEnergy plc to move forward with a 53 MW biomass power plant at a former airfield in Northern England’s Yorkshire.

According to the consent agreement, the plant may not exceed 53 MW, and may be comprised of up to three boilers, three steam turbines, water cooled condensers, a fuel feedstock sorting facility, canal wharf materials handling facilities, ancillary plant and equipment, and other necessary buildings such as administration offices and research and development laboratories.

Construction must begin within five years.

Consent of the plant brings the number of new power stations approved in England and Wales in 2011 to 15, a new annual record, according to the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change. Hendry said the DECC has made it a priority to remove the backlog in planning applications, in order to demonstrate the administration’s commitment to economic growth.

In this case, that growth will come mainly in the form of jobs. During construction, the plant is estimated to create around 200 jobs, and 135 jobs when operational.

The plant will require about 360,000 metric tons of wood waste per year, diverted from landfills and delivered to the plant via the Aire and Calder Navigation Canal.

The plant will add to Dalkia’s extensive track record in the U.K. biomass power industry. One of its most recent notable projects is a 50 MW cogeneration plant in Facture, France, that was commissioned in March and is the largest in the country.