Local-scale wood-fired CHP accelerates in UK

Estover Energy is poised to approach finance houses with its local-scale combined heat and power (CHP) approach, already tailored for three sites totalling up to 52 MWe in Scotland and the north of England.

Having refined its on-site biomass CHP concept to tackle the UK’s oversupply in wood, Estover Energy is set to seek about £220m ($350m) to complete its first projects, Director Max Aitken told COSPP.

Stoneywood Mill

‘We have been granted our first planning permission and are anticipating more permissions in the first quarter,’ he said. ‘We will now be looking for finance in the second or third quarters of this year.’

Estover specialises in local-scale CHP sited near forestry resources to enable the highest carbon savings and ensure local support, said Aitken.

Three sites at an advanced stage of development include Stoneywood Mill, a paper mill near Aberdeen in Scotland, where planning permission has been granted.

Each site, which require project financing of £60-90m, has a development period of about three or four years, he said. But Estover Energy now works amid a more supportive official context after many years of uncertain biomass policies, he told COSPP.

The UK is estimated to produce 2 million tonnes of unused low-grade wood each year, according to the Forestry Commission, a UK government department. Harvesting this wood for heat and power also improves the condition of forests, according to Estover Energy.

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