UK: Veolia will operate biomass CHP plant

Veolia appointed operator of the biomass CHP plant in Nottingham

Veolia has strengthened its position in generating energy from biomass by securing a £50 million ($75.79 million) contract from Equitix ESI CHP, to operate the Sherwood Biomass Plant in Nottingham. The 20 year contract highlights the growing U.K. commitment to this type of energy project, and adds to the £500 million of biomass energy managed by Veolia in the U.K. and Ireland.

Located in Widmerpool, Nottingham the 6.55 MW biomass-fired combined-heat-and-power station is designed to provide sustainable green electricity for over 10,000 homes and supply up to 4.5 MWth of process heat for the adjacent sawmill operations. The new plant will recycle around 52,000 metric tons of waste wood as a carbon neutral fuel and will annually save around 8,400 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Under the contract, Veolia will provide operation and maintenance on a 24/7 basis and will deliver monitoring, reporting and compliance services.  The agreement also covers water treatment, emission monitoring, and ash disposal for the new plant that is due to start generating renewable electricity and heat in spring 2017.

Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice president of Veolia U.K. and Ireland, said, “This new contract highlights our renewable energy expertise and will recycle waste biomass to produce green energy for the grid. ”

The Sherwood plant will use a traditional steam cycle for generating electricity though the combustion of life expired wastewood from local sources. The contract follows Veolia’s recent appointment to operate the Holbrook Community Energy Centre in Sheffield and means that the resource management company has extended its biomass energy operations by 55 MW this year alone.

Announced in October

In October it was announced that UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and Equitix have  a commitment to fund the construction of a £30m energy facility in Widmerpool, Nottingham.

The Equitix managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £14.6m in the project. An additional £15m of private capital has been mobilised from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

The plant is to be built in Widmerpool and was developed by Mycock Associates Ltd with support from Pinnacle Power ltd. It will generate up to 6.5 MW of green electricity and will be built as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) ‘ready’ with the potential to supply heat to a co-located wood drying facility.

A joint venture between STC Power S.R.L and Pensotti Fabrica Caldaie Legano S.P.A will act as the EPC Principal Contractor. The scheme’s biomass boiler and flue gas cleaning systems are being supplied by biomass specialists Pensotti Fabrica Caldaie Legano S.P.A which will also supply the clean electricity generation equipment.

Once operational the project will sell electricity to GDF Suez UK under a long-term power off take agreement and Veolia Energy Services Ltd has been awarded the long-term operations and maintenance contract.

The development is expected to create 60 jobs during construction and a further 15 full-time positions once operational.

Ed Northam, Head of Investment Banking, UK Green Investment Bank, said:

“This plant represents another important step in advancing the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Supplying the local grid with renewable electricity, the plant has the capability to produce heat as well as power, making available affordable, low-carbon energy supplies for local businesses while also providing employment opportunities within the community.”

Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Director, Equitix, said:

“Equitix have a robust pipeline of CHP opportunities in the UK and we are pleased to have closed another of these deals on behalf of our investors. We work with a diverse range of partners to support innovative deals across the country that will ultimately deliver remarkable carbon savings over the projects’ life. As investors we aim to make a difference and believe that delivering returns to shareholders can be fully aligned with a commitment to sustainable investments.”

Peter Mycock of Mycock Associates Limited, principal developer and local Chartered Accountants said:

“The support of Nottinghamshire County Council has enabled us to redirect waste from local landfill and to generate sufficient green electricity to power up to 20,000 homes within the local community.”


Text edited by Lennart Ljungblom