Energos is now half way through its final commissioning run on the plant, which is expected to be fully operational by mid November.
The new gasification plant (pictured ©ENER-G) will produce energy from thermal conversion: Gasification is an alternative to incineration. Rather than burning waste, it converts it into a gas via an advanced two-stage thermal treatment process. The resulting heat energy is used to produce steam, which will then be used to generate electricity.
Managing director of ENERGOS, Nick Dawber, said:
“We are very proud to have made available to the UK waste industry the first viable and proven alternative to incineration.
We can make a significant contribution to the government’s renewables target, with a typical Energos plant generating 8MW of green electricity.
This is sufficient to power 10,000 homes and would equate to the output of 18 large wind turbines.
“The project makes use of existing infrastructure and equipment (including boilers, steam turbine, and flue gas cleaning equipment) from a former incineration plant.
This has caused a delay in opening because it has taken longer than anticipated to integrate the old equipment into the new control system. However, the final trials are running smoothly and we are very pleased to be achieving consistently low emissions performance.”
The project is part of Defra’s New Technology Demonstrator Programme, which promotes innovative ways of reducing biodegradable waste sent to landfill. Defra is providing £2.7m to meet 35 per cent of the £8m cost of developing and operating the facility during the first year.
Currently the Isle of Wight is the only energy from waste process in the UK that has preliminary accreditation for ROCs. Full accreditation is anticipated once fuel measurements of the qualifying biodegradable portion of the waste are accepted by the regulator. The company anticipates that its renewable waste content will be greater than 60%.
The plant generates electricity from 30,000 tonnes of fuel produced from 60,000 tonnes of waste processed through Island Waste Services’ Resource Recovery Facility.
Biffa subsidiary Island Waste Services has also re-invested in its adjacent waste processing and recycling operation and the combined facility is helping the Isle of Wight in its Eco Island bid.
The groundbreaking gasification facility has created seven full-time jobs, with a further two appointments to be made soon – making an important contribution to the island economy. It will incorporate a visitor centre that is expected to attract visitors from local authorities across the UK and Europe as the drive to develop greener waste processing technology gathers pace.
This project provides significant environmental benefits to Isle of Wight residents – diverting waste from landfill and removing the need to use heavy vehicles to transport floc fuel to the mainland. Another benefit of this localised solution is that because the energy is used on the Island, there is little wastage during the transmission process. Previously, all electricity has come from the mainland.
There are currently six similar Energos plants operating in Norway and Germany and the technology has a ten year track record with over 280,000 hours of operating experience.
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