Eye Power Station given go-ahead by Department of Energy and Climate Change

Aerial Mike Page Eye airfield wind

Aerial Mike Page Eye airfield wind 18.7.2013

An application to construct a gas-fired power station in north Suffolk has been approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Progress Power’s proposals to build a £200million 299 megawatt gas-fired power station on part of the former Second World War airfield near Eye, were approved today, and subject to raising the necessary finance, construction of the plant would start in 2017 with commercial operation scheduled for 2019.

Fuelled by natural gas, it will operate as a ‘peaking plant’, providing back-up to intermittent renewable electricity generation, making it the first of its kind to be permitted in England.

The power produced is enough to supply 400,000 homes.

It will connect into the National Grid via underground cable and a new electricity sub-station that will be built near the A140 between the villages of Yaxley and Mellis.

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The electricity sub-station will be housed within a building that will be designed to be in keeping with the local area.

Construction of the station will provide 150 jobs during the two year construction and commissioning period and up to 15 full-time jobs when operational, and in addition, Progress Power has entered into discussions with Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) to establish a £300,000 ‘community benefit fund’ as well as enter into a Section 106 agreement.

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The decision was made by Amber Rudd, secretary of state for the department, bringing an end to an extensive two-and-a-half year public consultation and examination process.

Chris McKerrow, Project Director at Progress Power said: “We are delighted to have secured the Government’s approval for the project.

“The project helps to meet the Government’s energy policy objectives of security of supply and affordability and will support the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

“The local community will benefit from the project via the significant commercial investment that will be forthcoming, the skilled jobs being created, our community benefit fund as well as the Section 106 agreement with the local councils.

“We are confident our project will be a catalyst for realising MSDC’s long-term vision for Eye Airfield.”

“We intend to work closely with MSDC and SCC to ensure that our project is developed sensitively, respecting the views of local people and carefully managing the project’s impact on the local environment.”

Following the decision, Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “Continued investment is essential as we move the UK towards a cleaner energy future. These stations will create jobs while helping to keep people’s lights on.

“Gas is the greenest fossil fuel we have; generating electricity with only half the emissions produced by coal.”

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