Biomass Plant Not So Green, Friends Insist; Blyth Facility 'Able to Provide Energy for 170,000 Homes'

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE BLACK

QUESTIONS have been raised over the sustainability of a planned PS250m biomass power station.

Environmental campaigners have questioned the green credentials of the 100-megawatt generating plant in North Blyth, in evidence submitted to a Government-appointed planning inspector by Friends of the Earth.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for approval to build the plant at Battleship Wharf on the River Blyth, with the proposals examined by planning inspector Robert Upton.

RES says the facility, which will be fuelled by woodchip, pellets or briquettes, will have the capacity to provide the annual energy needs of 170,000 homes.

But the North Tyneside branch of Friends of the Earth has submitted evidence challenging the company's claims that the plant will be environmentally friendly.

FOTE says the plant fails the sustainability test as it will not be carbon neutral and will only operate at 30-35% efficiency.

It says heat generated by the biomass burning process will not be recycled, but will be discharged as hot water into the River Blyth. …