The Plymouth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility took three years and £250m ($365m) to build.
Around 245,000 tonnes per year of household, commercial and industrial waste will be burned at the plant, with the resulting 190 GWe and 60 GWth to be supplied to a neighbouring dockyard and naval base.
At the base, the waste-fuelled power and heating are to replace a gas-based system, cutting CO2 emissions by around 77,000 tonnes per year according to the plant’s operator MVV Environment, a subsidiary of Germany’s MVV Energie.
The plant has already received several awards and prizes for site management during construction, quality of its public-private partnership, environmental benefits and innovation.
Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment, said: “This facility is among the top plants of its kind in Europe with regards to energy efficiency and technical standards.”