Energy Minister announces three new CHP plants

Minister for Energy Brian Wilson has given energy policy clearance to three new combined heat and power (CHP) schemes. The gas-fired stations will supply the extra heat and electricity needs of the British Salt works at Middlewich, which is to get a 20MW plant; the Sudbrook Paper Mill at Caldicot, which gets a 115MW plant, and the iXguardian site at Hounslow, which will have a 20MW plant.

“Combined heat and power plants are designed to produce both electricity and usable heat in a single process,” said Wilson in a written answer to a parliamentary question. “Therefore they have environmental benefits due to their high levels of energy efficiency and also help business reduce their costs and stay competitive. The decision demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to promote CHP and reduce carbon emissions.”

The Government cleared the proposal under section 14(1) of the Energy Act 1976. Proposals to construct power stations with an output of 10MW or higher have to be notified to the Secretary of State under Section 14(1) of that Act.

Section 14 gives the Secretary of State the power to regulate the construction of new power stations fuelled by natural gas or oil – the fear of losing coal production has seen a general presumption against new gas-fired generation, though an exception is made in current policy documents for CHP projects, where environmental benefits outweigh such considerations.

Public copies of the clearance letter are available for Walter Gusmag, Energy Policy and Consents on 020 7215 2727.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie