Public open day to showcase plans for renewable energy park

Plans to create one of the UK’s largest renewable energy parks on a purpose-built site in Dorset go on public show in September.

If approved, Eco Sustainable Solutions say the scheme will cost a minimum of £36 million and create up to ten new jobs.

The company has already received planning permission for a £14 million biomass generating station on its existing composting site at Parley near Christchurch.

Work on building the plant, which will be fuelled by 25,000 tonnes of waste wood, is due to start early next year. It is expected to be operational in mid 2014 and provide approximately 23,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity per annum.

Eco is also proposing to build a £7 million biogas plant which will convert 45,000 tonnes of food waste and locally sourced maize into gas.

The anaerobic digester (AD) facility will produce about 4.4 million cubic metres of gas annually which the company estimates will provide 3,000 homes worth of energy.

A planning application has been submitted for the AD plant and, if approved, work could start next year with completion expected in 2015.

The final part of the renewable energy park is a solar energy farm covering  up to 125 acres of land. It will use photovoltaic panels capable of directly converting sunlight into electrical current.

The cost of the solar farm will range from £15 million to as much as £100 million depending on the final size of the scheme. A planning application has yet to be prepared.

Details of the biomass, AD and solar farm schemes will go on show at a public open day at Eco’s Chapel Lane site on Saturday September 15 from 9am to 2pm.

The day will allow local residents to see the company’s existing organics recycling facilities, with guided tours every half hour, as well as watch demonstrations and learn more about Eco’s future plans. Refreshments will be available.

Trelawney Dampney, Eco’s Managing Director, said: “We believe our renewable energy park will be one of the largest in the UK providing low carbon, clean and green energy from material such as food waste which would normally have gone to landfill.”

He added: “We are very keen to share our plans with residents and other interested parties as well as highlight some of our current activities. We look forward to welcoming as many people to our site on Saturday September 15 as possible.”

Founded in 1994, Eco now employs 50 people and has an annual turnover of £10 million.

The company owns and operates the UK’s leading purpose-built site for organics recycling and renewable energy generation, currently processing 250,000 tonnes of organic material each year across four facilities.