Energy from waste plant could support new business park
An energy from waste plant in Cornwall would produce enough heat and electricity to power a new business park supporting up to 1,000 jobs, according to a new report published today.
The £100,000 Greenpark Feasibility Study has concluded that Cornwall’s household waste could be used to generate all the energy needs for a 40,000 sq ft business park accommodating 10 companies on an 11-hectare site.
Building the business park would cost £28.7 million and it would need to be within 865 metres of an energy from waste plant to be cost effective.
Businesses located at Greenpark would save around 11% on their energy costs and, depending on the technology used for the waste to energy plant, would be exempt from the Government’s Climate Change Levy. They could also qualify for further tax breaks for using energy from renewable resources.
Cornwall’s waste company, County Environmental Services Ltd (CES), led the feasibility study with support from the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and Cornwall Enterprise, Cornwall County Council’s economic development company. Half the cost was met by a £51,000 grant from Objective One.
The study looked at four possible sites for Greenpark in mid-Cornwall, including two at Roche, one at Indian Queens and one at Drinnick. It concluded that Drinnick would be too small, but that the other three sites could all be suitable, depending on their availability and the eventual location of the energy from waste plant. Only Indian Queens, where SWRDA owns 27 acres of development land, is immediately available.
As part of the study more than 40 local companies were consulted and the majority backed the idea of Greenpark. Business were attracted by the prospect of reduced energy costs, the security of the energy supply (especially high-tech users), the energy mix available (including electricity, steam, hot and cold water) and some felt the Greenpark image could give them an advantage over their competitors.
Greenpark would be marketed to a wide variety of business sectors and could include high energy users such as food and drink producers, high-tech users for whom security of power supply is paramount, environmental industries, light manufacturing and recycling industries.
Mike Brown, managing director of CES, said: “What the Greenpark Feasibility Study has shown is that such a development is not only viable in financial and technical terms, but would be attractive to companies from different sectors and for a variety of reasons.
“Furthermore, the environment of Cornwall can benefit from linking such a project to better ways of dealing with our waste than landfill, and instead using our waste as a non-fossil fuel and renewable source of energy. Even better would be if we could attract those recycling companies that require lots of energy to make new products from things such as waste glass. Then we can use waste to create energy to recycle waste!”
Stephen Bohane, the RDA’s Head of Operations in Cornwall, said: “We’ve always been very excited by the concept of Greenpark which is why we’ve supported this feasibility study. It has the potential to be an exemplar of sustainable development, turning household waste into energy to help support hundreds of jobs in Cornwall and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”
The future of Greenpark now depends on a number of factors, including the outcome of a public enquiry into Cornwall’s Waste Local Plan, which starts next week. The outcome of that enquiry will not be known until late summer at the earliest.
Greenpark also depends on the construction of an energy from waste plant nearby and is unlikely to progress until planning permission has been sought and obtained for such a plant.
The next step would be to seek funding for the project, which would most likely be sought from the Objective One programme, SWRDA and the private sector.
A copy of the Greenpark Feasibility Study will shortly be available at www.greenpark-cornwall.com.
For further information please contact:
Managing Director, County Environmental Services Ltd
Tel: 01209 821669
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD