Green light for £65million Estover Energy plant granted planning permission by Dover District Council
A new £65million green energy plant powered by wood fuel is to generate 140 new jobs in east Kent.
Estover Energy has received planning consent from Dover council for a biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at Discovery Park, the former Pfizer site at Sandwich. The area offers financial incentives through its Enterprise Zone status.
Around 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase starting in the spring, with a further 20 jobs at the plant after completion and 20 more in forestry and transport.
Artist's impression of a new green energy plant planned for east Kent
The plant will supply renewable heat and electricity across the 220-acre site, as well as low carbon electricity to the national grid. It will support the UK's national target to generate 15% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.
The biomass plant will use locally sourced low-grade wood fuel to generate renewable heat and power for the park - reducing its energy costs, carbon footprint and reliance on imported fossil fuel.
It will use conventional CHP steam turbine technology to generate 11-15 MW of power and 8-12 MW of heat, enough for 21,000 homes.
"By reducing energy bills and decarbonising the electricity and heat used at Discovery Park, the project will help existing businesses expand and attract new employment to the area..." - Laura Sandys
Estover Energy now has a workforce of 14. It says the CHP plant will give woodland owners the certainty to manage it efficiently and achieve its economic potential. It uses low-grade wood from parts of the tree that have little or no other uses.
Of the 790,000 acres of woodland in the south east and London, only 46% is managed - leaving 430,000 acres for which there is no long-term management or economic use.
Estover Energy's development director Andrew Troup said: "Our new biomass plant will help meet the energy challenges of the next two decades. It will be a great boost to the local economy and will stimulate long-overdue investment in the south east's woodlands."
South Thanet MP Laura Sandys said: "I am extremely excited about Estover's CHP plant. By reducing energy bills and decarbonising the electricity and heat used at Discovery Park, the project will help existing businesses expand and attract new employment to the area."
Energy minister Greg Barker said: "Estover's local-scale biomass CHP plant is an exciting opportunity to make an important contribution to our renewable energy mix.
"By sourcing fuel from the south east, the wider benefits of developing a new supply chain are felt locally, helping to stimulate the rural economy and provide a much needed market to support coppice woodlands in south-east England. I congratulate them on this new development."
- Click here for more Thanet news
- Click here for more news from across the county