New plans have been announced by energy giant E.ON to invest around £300 million in a new biomass power plant 12km from Bristol.
The biomass power plant will be called the Portbury Dock Renewable Energy Plant and is expected to have a maximum capacity to produce 150MW which would be enough electricity to power 200,000 homes. The fuel for the power plant will be wood which will be brought to the power plant by ship.
Approval is still yet to be granted. A planning application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was submitted in August 2009 and E.ON hopes that construction can be started in 2012 with the first power to be brought online some time in 2013 and full production to be completed in 2015.
A scoping statement has been issued by E.ON to North Somerset Council, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) as well as other interested parties. This outlines the plans for the project and seeks view on what should be included in the environmental statement.
In order to maintain the expected capacity of 150MW of electricity the facility will require something like 1.2 million tonnes of woodchip per year. The exact design of the combustion process is still yet to be decided upon but it is likely to be a fluidised combustion system involving a combined heat and power (CHP) system.