ORGANISERS of an open day to showcase plans to create one of the UK’s largest renewable energy parks in Dorset say they’re “very encouraged” at the public response.
The scheme put forward by Eco Sustainable Solutions includes a biomass generating station, anaerobic digester (AD) facility and a solar farm.
The energy park will be based at the company’s Chapel Lane site at Parley near Christchurch, cost a minimum of £36 million and create up to ten new jobs.
The open day allowed local residents to see Eco’s existing organics recycling facilities as well as watch demonstrations and learn more about Eco’s future plans.
The company also organised a separate briefing session and guided tours for civic leaders and elected councillors.
Among those attending were Christchurch Mayor Councillor Peter Hall, Ferndown Mayor Councillor Terry Cordery and Bournemouth’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Chris Rochester.
Trelawney Dampney, Eco’s Managing Director, said: “We had a good turnout and were very encouraged by the response to our plans.
“We received broad support for our proposals as well as some very constructive feedback which will help form our thinking for the future.”
Eco has already received planning permission for a £14 million biomass generating station at Parley.
Work on building the plant, which will be fuelled by 25,000 tonnes of waste wood, is due to start early next year. It is expected to be operational in mid 2014 and provide approximately 23,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity per annum.
Eco is also proposing to build a £7 million biogas plant which will convert 45,000 tonnes of food waste and locally sourced maize into gas.
The anaerobic digester (AD) facility will produce about 4.4 million cubic metres of gas annually which the company estimates will provide 3,000 homes worth of energy.
A planning application has been submitted for the AD plant and, if approved, work could start next year with completion expected in 2015.
The final part of the renewable energy park is a solar energy farm covering up to 125 acres of land. It will use photovoltaic panels capable of directly converting sunlight into electrical current.
The cost of the solar farm will range from £15 million to as much as £100 million depending on the final size of the scheme. A planning application has yet to be prepared.
Founded in 1994, Eco now employs 50 people and has an annual turnover of £10 million.
The company owns and operates the UK’s leading purpose-built site for organics recycling and renewable energy generation, currently processing 250,000 tonnes of organic material each year across four facilities.