Construction starting at Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant
Construction work on the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant, that will generate electricity from the burning of straw, is to start within the next fortnight. When it enters commercial operation in 2014, the 38MW power station, which is owned by Eco2 Lincs Ltd, will generate electricity for 65,000 homes and employ up to 80 people. During its construction phase, up to 250 people will be working on the site.
As well as generating electricity, the plant will supply surplus heat to Sleaford’s public swimming pool and indoor bowling centre, the town’s football club and, subject to planning consent, provide surplus heat to North Kesteven Council’s office in Sleaford. The provision of surplus heat is one part of a package of measures that will benefit the town as the plant is built and enters operation. Other measures include a local apprenticeship scheme, funding for community projects and a new cycleway and footpath along Boston Road.
Most of the straw, the power station's fuel source, has been secured on long-term contracts with the vast majority coming from farms within 30 miles of Sleaford. Ash produced by the plant will be recycled as crop fertiliser.
Eco2 Lincs has agreed a construction plan with North Kesteven District Council to minimise the impact of the plant work, in particular lorry traffic to and from the site. A designated lorry route has been agreed with the Council that will avoid Sleaford Town Centre: HGV lorries are only permitted to access the power station site from the A17 and Boston Road. In order to facilitate the lorry movements, a new junction on the A17 and road entrance to the site have been built and funded by Eco2 Lincs.
Andrew Toft, Project Director at Eco2, which is managing the construction of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant said: “We are very pleased to have reached a stage when we can start the main construction work. We will continue to liaise closely with North Kesteven District Council to ensure that we minimise the impact of our work. We will also be taking further steps to keep the local community informed of our progress and how Sleaford and the surrounding area will benefit from its operation.”
He added: “The Sleaford Renewable Energy plant is a multi-million pound investment in the local economy and job creator. Its benefits extend much further: the project also helps to deliver the UK Government’s ambitions to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and strengthen the UK’s energy security and diversify its energy supply.”