Energy Works, the technically advanced renewable energy power plant to be built in Hull, has taken a major step forward with the award of a £19.9 million (US$31 million) grant. Energy Works is a power plant concept combining green technologies to produce sustainable electricity and biomethane.
The grant, from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is a key part of the financing for the £100 million-plus ($151.12 million) energy recovery plant that uses an innovative combination of green technologies and will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The ERDF grant is the largest for an energy generation scheme in England and one of the biggest for any project in the UK.
The complete Energy Works development will produce sufficient electricity to power 25,000 homes; potentially cut waste sent to landfill by local authorities in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire by 90 percent; increase recycling; create 60 jobs once operational; regenerate a brownfield site; and enable other businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.
Energy Works uses a combination of innovative renewable energy technologies - Fluidized Bed Gasification, In-Vessel Composting and Anaerobic Digestion. The facility will be built to sort, pre- treat and process different types of waste with several advantages over more conventional technologies, such as complementing recycling efforts and improved air quality.
A key component of the scheme is its partnership with the University of Hull. Energy Works will encourage the dissemination of knowledge regarding renewable energy through its Energy Academy on the site.
The Energy Academy will provide two positions to the University for postgraduate study of renewable energy. An educational resource center will offer local small businesses and members of the public with opportunities to learn about the importance of striving towards sustainable and renewable means of electricity generation.
Spencer Group Chief Executive and founder Charlie Spencer said: “We are delighted that the Government and the European Commission have recognized that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development which can be replicated elsewhere.”
“As a Hull-based company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region's credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies."
Spencer Group is now moving forward with detailed implementation plans and expects to achieve full financial closure on the project later this year, enabling construction to begin.
During the Energy Works visit, the Minister will also meet Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.
This is one of the partnerships between local authorities and businesses that decide what the priorities should be for investment in roads, buildings and facilities in the area.
This partnership has championed the renewable energy sector as a key driver of the economy in the Humber - the UK’s “energy estuary”. This and other public investments locally are a result of that focus.