A new plant in Plymouth, southwest England is to open, converting 40 000 tonnes of wood waste into renewable heat and electricity annually, which should reduce CO₂ emissions by around 16 500 tonnes a year.

Three companies, MITIE’s Asset Management, O-Gen UK and the Una Group are working together on the development, under the name of O-Gen Plymtrek.

The development is scheduled to open in the middle of next year and will produce about 26000MWh of electricity each year, powering about 6200 homes.

The wood, which would normally go into landfill, will be used to produce the gas fuel which can be combusted within a boiler to generate steam. This steam will then be used to power a turbine which will produce power and heat.

A grant of £525000 (€627000) was given to the facility by the South West Regional Development and MITIE’s Asset Management will maintain and operate the plant during a 10 year contract, accodrding to BioEnergy News.

Mike Tivey, MD of MITIE’s Asset Management, says: ‘Generating energy from waste material is an important part of the fast-growing decentralised energy market, which provides organisations and communities with secure, locally generated power and heat for the future.’

David Pike, MD O-Gen UK, adds: ‘This plant represents the first of a series of combined heat and power plants currently under discussion with MITIE across the South West region.’

Currently the country produces about 4.5 million tonnes of wood waste each year and if just 2 million tonnes of this was converted into 2600GWh of electricity, 1.15 million tonnes of CO₂ could be saved annually.

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