New waste-to-energy park could power 10% of London homes

A London-based waste firm has revealed plans to build a £500m low-carbon energy park which could help power up to 10% of London's households by converting residual waste into green electricity.

Cory’s Riverside Energy Park in south east London is expected to export 30MW of heat to nearby homes and businesses from waste energy recovery, anaerobic digestion (AD), solar panels and battery storage.

Alongside Cory’s existing 72MW waste-to-energy plant on the south bank of the Thames, the 96MW facility could generate enough electricity to power 300,000 homes across London.

It is also expected to diver 65,000 tonnes of residual waste away from landfill, which would save around 130,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Cory chief executive Nicholas Pollard said: “The new energy park represents a huge step forward when it comes to meeting London’s waste management and energy generation needs.

“London is facing a significant capacity gap in its ability to appropriately dispose of and treat all its waste. This new park is an important part of the solution. By employing a range of technologies which are proven at scale, we can expand our ability to generate clean, low carbon renewable energy for London and treat more of London’s waste within the city’s boundaries.”

The energy park will also convert residual ash left over from burning waste into construction materials for London’s homes and roads. Construction is due to start in 2021, and Cory is targeting the park to be up and running by 2024.

London decarbonising

London is gradually making a shift towards low-carbon electricity generation. Earlier this year, Clean energy provider Vital Energi secured a £15m contract to install a district heating network in Enfield, North London, which is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of local homes by 80%.

The latest figures show that recycling rates in the capital have fallen to 2010 levels. It has been claimed that London could reduce its waste by 60% by 2041 through a circular economy approach.

City Hall’s draft London Environment Strategy highlights the need for greater resource efficiency. Meanwhile, a route map launched in June outlined how the collective buying power of the private sector could catalyse the circular economy in London, unlocking £2.8bn annually in the process.

George Ogleby

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