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Planned CHP Plant FAQ's

1 May 2012

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as some key facts.

FAQs

Q: What exactly do the proposals involve?

A: Plevin is applying for planning permission to build a biomass-fuelled power plant to supply energy to our existing wood-based processing site in Elkesley, together with a new integrated wood-chip drying plant.

Q: What would it look like?

A: The proposed development consists of four main buildings: one to dry the wood material; one to flake it; one for new office accommodation and one containing the CHP plant itself. These buildings would be connected by a high-level covered conveyor mechanism. There would be a single stack, or chimney, for the CHP, and three smaller stacks for the drier.

Q: How big is the proposed plant?

A: The chimney would have a maximum height of 30m. The buildings and smaller stacks would have a maximum height of around 20m.

Q: What would the energy be used for?

A: The plant would produce about 1.6 megawatts (MW) of electricity and eight MW of thermal energy. This would provide enough electricity for our site, plus a small excess for export to the National Grid. In addition, we will also use the thermal energy to dry wood products at our plant.

Q: Will there be air emissions and will they pollute the environment?

A: All emissions will be cleaned and made safe before they leave the stack. Emission and combustion controls in the design and operation of the plant mean all relevant air quality standards and guidelines will be achieved. Emissions to air will have no significant adverse impacts on air quality, the natural environment, or the health of local people. We would not get permission to build and operate it without proving this.

Q: Will the new plant be noisy?

A: We have incorporated several measures into the proposed design to ensure noise is kept to a minimum. For example, openings to buildings face the middle of the site and modern construction materials are used. The log entry conveyor has been covered and the wood flaker carefully designed. Noise levels are not predicted to increase significantly when the plant starts to operate.

Q: How much waste would be produced?

A: A minimal amount. The combustion units and associated plant would produce approximately eight tonnes per week of fly ash and bottom ash, which would be segregated to maximise the potential for off-site ash reuse and recycling. Any other waste products would be recycled wherever possible or disposed of using the local waste disposal routes. Drainage and sewerage will be processed along with that from the existing plant.

Q: How will you prevent dust escaping?

A: All potentially dusty materials would be stored indoors, within the new buildings. Environmental controls would limit the emission of dust from all buildings and processing areas.

Q: How has the plant’s impact been measured?

A: The potential effects were assessed using computer-based atmospheric dispersion modelling techniques (ADMS), and other approaches. The study used worst-case assumptions and took existing air quality levels into account. Meteorological data for the dispersion model was obtained from the Met Office.

Q: What has been done to protect wildlife?

A: We plan to create bird and bat boxes and plant trees and shrubs to protect local habitats and wildlife. These measures would ensure compliance with all relevant UK and European legislation.

Q: Will emissions affect local habitats?

A: An assessment of potential emission impacts on nearby designated sites found that all process contributions were below 0.2 per cent, which is well below guidelines produced by the Environment Agency. These guidelines indicate a contribution of less than one per cent can be considered insignificant.

Q: How would the plant be regulated?

A: The environmental permit from the Environment Agency sets stringent conditions on the plant’s emissions to air, land and water. If the plant is built, Environment Agency officers will have permanent access to real-time emissions data, so be able to monitor emissions 24 hours, seven days a week.

Q: When is a decision likely to be made regarding planning permission?

A: Nottinghamshire County Council will have the final say on whether planning permission is granted. The proposals are due to go before the council's planning committee by the end of 2012.

KEY FACTS

Fuel for the state-of-the-art plant would be mainly locally sourced waste wood from local authority civic amenity sites
Other sources would include waste wood from skip hire firms, pallet manufacturers and joinery workshops – waste wood would otherwise go to landfill


The CHP plant would produce 1.6 megawatts of renewable electricity and eight megawatts of renewable heat

The plant would offset about 25,000 tonnes of CO2 a year - equivalent to the annual CO2 output of about 4,500 UK households
It would create 16 full times, permanent jobs including several for apprentices