Prime Minister David Cameron today (Thursday) heralded the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant as a factor in Britain being 'at the forefront of the green energy revolution'.
Sleaford REP, an artist's impression
Source: North Kesteven District Council Press Release
In a speech to international energy ministers from 23 countries, the Prime Minster singled out Eco2's £150m investment in a straw-burning power plant at Sleaford where construction is set to begin next Monday, April 30.
He specified that up to 250 people will be employed at the site off Boston Road, with 80 employed when operational in 2014 generating 38megawatts of straw-fuelled biomass combined heat and power, sufficient to power 65,000 homes.
Within the speech he also stressed the importance of pro-active and dynamic councils such as North Kesteven District Council in finding planning solutions to the need to find a more diverse, cleaner mix of energy sources that give energy security and meet a forecast 40 per cent increase in global energy demand.
Through its detailed discussion with Eco2, NKDC secured a project that not only makes positive contributions towards clean energy generation but also towards the economic and environmental sustainability of the District, with additional benefits including hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of free heat for community buildings in Sleaford, five engineering apprenticeships, and around £200,000 of broader community investment.
Council Leader Councillor Marion Brighton OBE said, "For the Prime Minister to reference the Sleaford project which we have all worked so hard to achieve and bring forward is very gratifying. The development of a co-operative relationship between Eco2 and the Council has been critical in making this development happen and securing the best deal for people locally.
"And just as the Prime Minister is proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of a global green energy revolution, we too are very proud in our achievements in securing a renewable energy plant here in our District that will make such a positive contribution in meeting the need for increased renewable energy generation, without compromising the natural environment.
Dr Andrew Toft, Eco2's Director of Projects said: "It is great that the importance of Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant has been recognised at the highest level. Projects such as this do not make headway without constructive and cooperative engagement between a developer and a local authority; the success of this project owes a lot to the careful, considered and scrupulous support of those at North Kesteven District Council. Their positive response has been critical and they deserve recognition for this."
Biomass fired up?