Campaigners say decision was flawed

Daily Echo: The preferred design for the plant The preferred design for the plant

THEY may have finally chosen their preferred look for a controversial giant biomass plant in Southampton – but yesterday the company behind the scheme was at the centre of a new row.

Campaigners against the scheme say the public consultation used to pick the £300m design was flawed.

And last night council chief Richard Williams issued a new plea to developers to consider alternative sites for the scheme.

He said there are other locations where the giant facility, set to be built at Southampton docks, could be placed.

The call for talks came as company Helius Energy unveiled the design it has chosen for the 100-megawatt wood-fired plant near homes in Freemantle and Millbrook.

Three options were put to the public during the summer, and the company says that 52 per cent of respondents chose the “marine” look.

But campaigners have dismissed the statistic – saying that many people put “none of the above” on the design consultation and these results have not been included.

Helius has refused to comment on how many people took part in the survey.

Meanwhile Cllr Williams has asked the company to come to a meeting to discuss other places the plant could be built – but says he cannot reveal alternative locations at this stage.

He said: “This is an open invitation to Helius – let’s explore an alternative way forward.

“I couldn’t possibly comment on where those locations are – but let’s just say it’s not an idle promise.

“I have been looking at this at a strategic level for quite some time.

“We want them to pause just for a week or two before they do anything final, come and talk to me and at least listen to what I have to say.”

Helius say they are happy to meet with the council – but they are unaware of other suitable sites in the area.

Planning director Paul Brighton said: “The company has undertaken a nationwide search for suitable sites for Biomass energy projects.

“This has included a comprehensive assessment of potential sites in the Southampton area – the proposed location in the Western Docks was selected as it met the minimum critical requirements for the scheme.

“To date, the alternative sites suggested have been either unavailable or have characteristics which are unsuitable for a proposed biomass fuelled energy scheme.”

Protesters against the plant have also said they are not only against the location, but also the principle of the plans.

No to Southampton Biomass campaigner and Regents Park resident Steven Galton said: “The problem is with something this size, there’s never going to be a right place to put it.

“I’m against the industrial size biomass because it’s not green – you’re just putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

A referendum on the plans was scrapped by civic chiefs after costs spiralled from an initial £5,000 to £75,000.

Helius say they will now work on adding more detail to the “marine”

design, ahead of submitting a planning application to the National Infrastructure Directorate of the Planning Inspectorate later this year.

They say that 450 jobs will be created building the project which will have 40 permanent staff.

Once the application is accepted, the public will be able to register as “interested parties” to make comments on the scheme, before a final decision is made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – currently Liberal Democrat Ed Davey.

For all the background to the biomass debate click here

Comments (1)

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5:57pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Dan Soton says...

Centrica pulls the plug on Barrow biomass after the government clarifies its position on ( Helius ) dedicated biomass projects.


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Summary: Future government policy will favour Wood Biomass and Coal burned together rather than dedicated ( Helius ) Biomass Projects.

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Centrica pulls the plug on Barrow biomass.

Last updated at 16:52, Thursday, 25 October 2012.

CENTRICA has announced it is scrapping plans for a biomass plant in Barrow and withdrawing its existing gas plant from service.

The energy company announced yesterday afternoon it will not be proceeding with plans for an 80MW biomass power station at Roosecote.

Centrica have said the decision was taken after the government clarified its position on biomass.

“Throughout this time, we have also been talking to the government to clarify energy policy. Our understanding is that future policy will favour co-firing (biomass and coal burned together) and conversion of coal fired power stations rather than dedicated biomass projects, so we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with this proposal.

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http://tinyurl.com/d
78ddr4

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Why the change of heart?.


Why is the Government favouring Wood biomass & Coal Co-Firing ?.


Possibly something to do with the below news.

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Leith Wood Biomass Produces More Carbon Emissions Than Coal For 270 Years.

Date August 3, 2011.

by AuthorAlly.

The developers proposing to build a giant biomass fueled power station on Leith docks will probably not enjoy this graph.

It is taken from a new report into the issues surrounding the use of woody biomass for electricity generation that has been produced by a coalition of European NGOs including Friends of the Earth Scotland and Birdlife International.

It provides more evidence to back up our call to the Scottish Government to cut renewable energy subsidies for large, inefficient biomass plants like the one proposed by Forth Energy on Leith docks.

The report raises a host of environmental concerns over the growth in the use of biomass for electricity generation, but the graph that stood out is the one above which shows that a biomass plant that burns woody biomass from existing 'managed forests' for electricity - which is pretty much equivalent to the Leith Biomass proposals - could take almost 300 years to generate any carbon saving at all.

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http://tinyurl.com/c
dsrpft
Centrica pulls the plug on Barrow biomass after the government clarifies its position on ( Helius ) dedicated biomass projects. - Summary: Future government policy will favour Wood Biomass and Coal burned together rather than dedicated ( Helius ) Biomass Projects. - Centrica pulls the plug on Barrow biomass. Last updated at 16:52, Thursday, 25 October 2012. CENTRICA has announced it is scrapping plans for a biomass plant in Barrow and withdrawing its existing gas plant from service. The energy company announced yesterday afternoon it will not be proceeding with plans for an 80MW biomass power station at Roosecote. Centrica have said the decision was taken after the government clarified its position on biomass. “Throughout this time, we have also been talking to the government to clarify energy policy. Our understanding is that future policy will favour co-firing (biomass and coal burned together) and conversion of coal fired power stations rather than dedicated biomass projects, so we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with this proposal. - http://tinyurl.com/d 78ddr4 - Why the change of heart?. Why is the Government favouring Wood biomass & Coal Co-Firing ?. Possibly something to do with the below news. - Leith Wood Biomass Produces More Carbon Emissions Than Coal For 270 Years. Date August 3, 2011. by AuthorAlly. The developers proposing to build a giant biomass fueled power station on Leith docks will probably not enjoy this graph. It is taken from a new report into the issues surrounding the use of woody biomass for electricity generation that has been produced by a coalition of European NGOs including Friends of the Earth Scotland and Birdlife International. It provides more evidence to back up our call to the Scottish Government to cut renewable energy subsidies for large, inefficient biomass plants like the one proposed by Forth Energy on Leith docks. The report raises a host of environmental concerns over the growth in the use of biomass for electricity generation, but the graph that stood out is the one above which shows that a biomass plant that burns woody biomass from existing 'managed forests' for electricity - which is pretty much equivalent to the Leith Biomass proposals - could take almost 300 years to generate any carbon saving at all. - http://tinyurl.com/c dsrpft Dan Soton
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