Peterborough's £72 million renewable energy project in the spotlight as Secretary of State visits city

Peterborough's new £72 million Energy Recovery Facility was in the spotlight as it was visited by the Secretary of State yesterday, Monday.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 2:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 2:49 pm
Secretary of State Amber Rudd was joined by Peterboroughs Deputy Council Leader Wayne Fitzgerald, local MP Stewart Jackson, PCC Waste Partnership Manager Richard Pearn, and Viridors Director of External Affairs, Dan Cooke and Regional Manager, Paul Rowland.

Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and MP for Hastings and Rye, today visited the ERF, as part of a wider visit, to learn how the city is developing a future-fit energy strategy for its residents and businesses.

The Secretary of State was joined by Peterborough’s Deputy Council Leader Wayne Fitzgerald, local MP Stewart Jackson, PCC Waste Partnership Manager Richard Pearn, and Viridor’s Director of External Affairs, Dan Cooke and Regional Manager, Paul Rowland.

The £72 million ERF was completed in December 2015 and is now operational on the city’s Fengate industrial estate.

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The plant is operated by leading UK recycling and renewable energy company, Viridor, and forms part of the UK’s largest network of energy recovery and recycling facilities, treating Peterborough’s non-recyclable residual waste and using it to generate vital, largely renewable, base-load energy.

The Peterborough ERF has been funded via an innovative public private partnership, enabling the council to benefit from the electricity sales for the next 30 years.

With opportunities for further efficiency, the plant also offers the city another important step towards a decentralised energy network.

The ERF has the capacity to process up to 85,000 tonnes a year of residual (black bag) waste, with a generating capacity of 7.25 megawatts.

The Secretary of State said: “I was pleased to see the latest Energy Recovery Facility to be added to the network in Peterborough, providing local jobs and financial security for working people and their families, low-carbon energy and wider economic benefits.

“The innovation shown between Peterborough City Council and Viridor is a great example of how energy recovery facilities can contribute to a diverse energy mix and to our plan for long-term energy security for families and businesses across the UK.”

John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “We were pleased to be able to share the social and environmental benefits we’re delivering here in Peterborough with the Secretary of State. The new ERF produces enough power for 15,000 local households and will provide essential revenue from electricity sales for the next 30 years, delivering value for money for our residents.

“In addition, it will reduce the amount of carbon our city produces by 10,000 tonnes per year, making a significant contribution to a more sustainable Peterborough.

Dan Cooke, Viridor’s Director of External Affairs, added: “Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility has been delivered on time and on budget for our client, and provides a superb asset for a City with strong sustainability credentials and ambitions.

“Viridor’s £1.3 billion investment in its ERF portfolio has been the UK’s largest power plant programme over the last five years, providing 3,700 construction jobs and 470 new, full-time skilled jobs at a vital time for our economy.

“Our projects have supported 90 construction apprentices and 50 construction graduate trainees, along with 230 work placement opportunities, and over £190 million has been spent with SMEs and other supply chain partners in the communities around our facilities across the UK.

“The resource sector overall has invested over £5 billion in essential recovery and recycling facilities, with £6.8 billion of gross value added, helping to move towards a more circular economy and supporting over 100,000 jobs.

“The economic, social and environmental benefits of the infrastructure and services delivered by our sector are clear. We stand ready to invest further, to help deliver further resource productivity for the UK, but need clear policies and partnership from Government in the vital areas of low-carbon energy and resource management, to be able to realise the further potential.”