Gasification plant first to receive ROCs

A gasification plant that operates on municipal waste has become the first of its type to receive Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

The Isle of Wight facility receives ROCs for each megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated from the renewable portion of the residual waste – typically more than 60% of the waste.

Accreditation was granted by Ofgem after agreement had been reached regarding the fuel measurement system including the measurement of the biomass content of the fuel and the syngas gross calorific value (GCV).

ROCs have been received by technology provider Energos for an initial period from October to December 2010, and will continue to be issued by Ofgem in accordance with regulations. The auction price for ROCs approached £50 in March 2011.

ROCs are not available to incineration schemes, unless they generate both heat and electricity and meet CHPQA requirements, but are available to gasification and pyrolysis schemes as advanced conversion technologies.

The plant is part of the Isle of Wight Council’s resource recovery facility operated by Biffa subsidiary Island Waste Services. It utilises a refuse-derived fuel and as the fuel has been pre-treated, the biodegradable energy content has to be measured rather than being ‘deemed’.

The plant was the first to employ a continuous calorimeter to measure the GCV of the syngas produced by the process. This was also a first for the supplier of the metering facilities as the syngas is produced at a high temperature and has to be measured in its raw condition.

Energos managing director Nick Dawber said: “Now we have reached agreement with Ofgem and are receiving ROCs, we can press ahead with developing several small scale projects in the UK.

“Planning consent has been granted for seven more energy recovery facilities using Energos technology. These are community-sized plants that can supply both heat and/or electricity from non-recyclable and non-hazardous municipal solid waste and commercial waste streams.”

Energos gasification technology will also qualify for the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive. In addition, as renewable energy it is exempt from obligations under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Maxine Perella

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