Sleaford’s 38MW straw-burn Renewable Energy Plant (REP) has begun commercial operation, it has been announced.
Construction of the plant started in May 2012. It was due to be handed over to owners Glennmont Partners in July, but went on to suffer a number of delays.
Managed by Eco2 Limited on behalf of Glennmont Partners, the plant will generate enough renewable electricity to power 65,000 homes.
It will also provide free heat to Sleaford’s public swimming pool, the indoor bowling centre, the town’s football club, William Alvey Primary School, and North Kesteven District Council’s office in Sleaford.
The REP employs 30 people onsite and is supporting jobs in local agriculture as the straw - the plant’s fuel source - is being secured mainly from farms within a 30-mile radius of Sleaford.
Working closely with North Kesteven District Council, Sleaford Town Council, Kirkby-la-Thorpe Parish Council, Glennmont how vowed to continue to support the delivery and distribution of the £285,000 of community funding that is delivered through the Sleaford REP Community Liaison Panel.
Glennmont says it is also supporting other initiatives that will benefit the local area, including the Sustainability and Public Art Funds, and an engineering apprenticeship scheme.
Joost Bergsma, managing partner of Glennmont, said: “Sleaford is a landmark deal not only for Glennmont but for the UK biomass industry as a whole.
“It’s also a significant milestone for the town.”
The Sleaford plant was built by a consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S and Burmeister and Wain Energy A/S.
Mr Bergsma added: “Glennmont appreciates the efforts and support of everyone involved in the development and construction of the project, not least the teams at Eco2 and the Burmeister & Wain Consortium, as well as the local community.”