There are a number of new large-scale biomass plants planned for Scotland as the government continues to work towards the goal of sourcing all electricity from renewable sources.
A new $710 million (£465m) wood fuelled biomass power plant has been approved by the Scottish government to be sited at the port of Grangemouth on the River Forth. The plant will responsibly source the fuel according to the Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. This means the wood will be supplied from environmentally certified sources and not through deforestation.
The power plant will be capable of producing a maximum capacity of 120 MW of electricity and this will be enough to supply power to 130,000 homes. The expected completion date of the construction of the power plant is 2017 and is seen as a benefit to the community for the jobs that will be created, 500 construction jobs and then 50 permanent jobs when the plant comes online.
As well as producing power it will also be capable of producing a maximum of 200 MW of heat. The project is part of reaching Scotland’s target of supplying all of the country’s electricity from clean sources by 2020.
The project is one of four biomass developments that are being undertaken by a joint venture between Forth Ports and SSE PLC. The joint venture is known by the name Forth Energy.
There have been objections by environmentalists over the prospect of the plant being built with the main grounds being the effects of large-scale biomass generators on shrinking global biodiversity, international deforestation, air pollution, human rights and other concerns. The underlying concern comes from the fact that the green groups do not believe that large scale biomass power plants that are reliant on imported wood chips will produce the required carbon savings.
The Energy Minister had this to say about the decision, “In consenting [to] this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect local residents from inconvenience, safeguard the appearance of the area, and protect the environment and air quality. The conditions to the consent also ensure that the fuel used in the biomass is from sustainable and responsible sources.”
Follow the links provided below to find out more about the Grangemouth Biomass Power Plant project.