Proposed incinerator could power homes

HEAT from a controversial new incinerator planned for Great Blakenham could be used to power homes being built as part of the SnOasis project, it has emerged.

The company that is Suffolk County Council’s preferred bidder for the incinerator, Sita, is looking into the possibility of setting up a combined heat and power complex as part of the development.

James Dowell, from Sita, said most of the heat created by the incinerator would be used to generate electricity. But there was an optimal efficiency at which the plant could operate and it was inevitable that some heat would be created that could not be turned into electricity. He said: “Nothing is determined yet, but we will be looking to see if we can link up with developers to provide heat for nearby homes and businesses – it is the kind of scheme that has been successful elsewhere.”

Local county councillor John Field, who is also Liberal Democrat spokesman on the environment, said: “There has been an emphasis on the amount of power that would be generated – about 20megawatt or enough to power a town the size of Lowestoft.

“That might sound good, but you have to bear in mind that a gas power station of the same size producing the same emissions would produce 10 times the amount of power for the National Grid.”

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The county council’s cabinet is due to come to a final decision on who should develop the site at Great Blakenham in October and if the county’s waste strategy is endorsed by the government a planning application should be lodged towards the end of the year.

A decision on planning permission would be made at the end of next year with a start on work in 2012 and completion of the project in 2014.

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