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RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTRE DRAKELOW PARK


Future Earth Energy (FE) has plans to develop a Renewable Energy Centre on the site of the former Drakelow Power Station C.

The Proposed Site

The facility will be built on a five acre brownfield site on land which sits close to the Burton South Main Sub-station. It was previously home to the coal-fired Drakelow Power Station C which was decommissioned and demolished in 2003.

It is located approximately 1.5km to the south of Stapenhill and 2km to the north east of Walton on Trent and south west of the consented Drakelow Park scheme, adjacent to the National Grid Substation.



Type of facility proposed

The Renewable Energy Centre will be CHP ready, this means that it will have the capability to generate heat and power. It will have an installed capacity of 15MW and it will use advanced thermal treatment gasification technology. It will provide green energy using biomass rich fuel.

The electrical power generated by the plant will be fed into the local distribution network of Western Power Distribution Ltd (WPD), with the potential for the heat generated to be distributed through a network of underground pipes (District Heating) for use by the commercial, residential and community users at the nearby proposed Drakelow Park. There is also the potential for chilled water to be supplied.

The proposals have the ability to:

  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Meet local energy demands
  • Deliver new investment in the area and create new jobs
  • This type of facility is popular across Europe, with sites in a variety of locations including next door to hospitals.

How does the facility work?

An Advanced Thermal Treatment process extracts energy from biomass rich fuels using a chemical reaction within an enclosed environment to create gas used to raise steam and drive a turbine to generate energy. This is then exported from the facility in the form of either electricity or hot water.

The facility will be capable of providing enough electricity for 23,000 homes and heat for 5,000 homes. It will be ‘CHP ready’ to allow occupiers of the nearby Drakelow Park business and residential development to use heat and chilled water as part of a potential district heating supply.

Using gasification, the fuel is not burnt. It is heated in a low oxygen sealed environment, this creates heat without burning and turns the biomass rich fuel into a gas. It is a very clean and green form of energy.


Flow Diagram



Key characteristics

Fuel

Up to 169,500 tonnes per annum of biomass rich fuel would be required. This usually arrives baled and consists of commercial packaging such as paper, card and plastic.

The only by-product is a form of ash. 90% of this is resold for use as aggregate, mainly for repairing roads. However, the whole process will divert almost 170,000 tonnes of paper, card and plastics from landfill or shipped to Holland or other European destinations for use in similar facilities abroad.

Proven technology?

Biomass rich fuel is commonly used in Holland and Germany for example, where they have embraced this green energy process for many years. Much of our BRF is currently being taken to the continent so it is great news that we will be able to use them in the UK to secure our own energy supply. There are also a number of similar advanced thermal plants in operation and in construction in the UK.

Vehicle movements

Over the whole working day approximately 40 vehicles will be coming into the plant.

These vehicle movements include all cars carrying staff to the facility and all associated lorries required to operate the facility - from those bringing the biomass rich fuel into site to those collecting the road aggregate.

The site will be able to store enough fuel for three to four days’ supply and vehicles will only be delivered during permitted delivery times.

It is anticipated that the Drakelow Bypass will be in operation before the facility opens and this would therefore be the access route to the site.

Operating hours

The facility would operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Effect on the environment

This is a very environmentally friendly method of producing power and heat as it uses biomass rich fuel to generate the energy.

It will not be noisy and noise assessments have been produced as part of the planning application. All of the equipment will be housed within the building which reduces any noise effect. In addition acoustic fencing is proposed as well as planting along the frontage.

Building

The facility will be approximately 20 metres in height, with a lower height office and visitors centre at the entrance. It has been carefully designed so that the heat exchangers, pumps and control equipment, fuel reception, boiler, thermal conversion plant and control rooms will all be within the building to provide a better aesthetic and minimise noise.

It will be a steel frame, clad building aesthetically designed to fit within a business park environment. The building will also house meeting rooms which can be used by the local community as well as an education/visitors centre with viewing platforms, looking into the turbine hall and thermal hall, in order to provide a flagship teaching resource.

The building will have one 45m chimney to discharge clean flue gases.

Drakelow Image

Construction process

It will take 24 months to build the facility. A Construction Management Plan would be agreed with the planning authority in consultation with the County Council.

We will work with contractors with considerate contractor status to ensure that there is minimal effect on any residents. Construction times and associated vehicle movements would be restricted to agreed routes and times in the Construction Management Plan. The earliest construction commencement date, dependent on planning permission, would be summer 2016.

Economic benefits

This will be an £80 million private sector investment into the area. It would be bespoke and manufactured in the UK. We would seek to use local suppliers and designers where possible. It would create over 200 construction jobs and 12 permanent jobs within the facility as well as create jobs in the supply chain.

It would be a flagship facility for the UK, housing state-of-the-art advanced thermal technology with a visitor and education centre to benefit local schools and college.

Next Steps

A planning application for the Drakelow Renewable Energy Centre is to be submitted to Derbyshire County Council.

Timescales

It will take 24 months to build the facility. The earliest construction commencement date, dependent on planning permission, would be summer 2016.

Construction Management

A Construction Management Plan would be agreed with the planning authority in consultation with the County Council. We would work with contractors with considerate contractor status to ensure that there is minimal effect on any residents. Construction times and associated vehicle movements would be restricted to agreed routes and times in the Construction Management Plan.



Further Reading

For further reading on the Energy from Waste debate, including the use of technologies such as gasification, may we refer interested parties to the following Informative Papers:

  • A report by DEFRA entitled: Energy from Waste A guide to the debate (published February 2014) – this report can be found at www.gov.uk/defra
  • A report by the Renewable Energy Association entitled: Energy from Waste A Guide for Decision Makers (published at 2011) – this report can be found at www.r_e_a.net
  • An article by Dr Stuart Wagland, Lecturer in Renewable Energy from Waste at Cranfield University entitled: The changing waste stream and the need for Feedstock preparation - this report can be found at www.waste-management-world.com
  • CBI Report - Click here to downlaod
  • The Energy from Waste Research and Technology Council www.wtert.co.uk

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