Energy park to bring hundreds of new city jobs

A computer image of the new site
A computer image of the new site

A new £350 million pound renewable energy plant in Fengate is expected to immediately provide enough electricity to sustain up to 40,000 homes.

The plant off Storey’s Bar Road was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2010 but is now due to come online by 2022, after an amended planning application was approved on Tuesday.

The project from Peterborough Renewable Energy Limited (PREL) will deliver 250 construction jobs as well as 136 permanent roles once the plant is up and running.

Cabinet member for waste and street scene at Peterborough City Council, Cllr Marco Cereste, welcomed the huge investment in the city.

He said: “It’s an absolutely amazing project for the city,” enthused Cllr Cereste, who is a director of Green Energy Parks Limited, which has a small stake in the project.

“It will enhance our green credentials, and being environmentally friendly and green will save money and will supply about 40,000 houses.

“And there will be more happening in the city in the future.”

The PREL plant was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2010, but works are now due to begin early next year with the facility opening in 2022.

The plant, which takes biomass slurry waste and turns it into solid fuel, will eventually contribute 43 megawatts of electricity back into the National Grid, and could have a maximum output of 80 megawatts when fully completed.

John Dickie, director of planning and development at PREL, explained to the members of the council’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday that the details of the new application were “a vast improvement on the 2008 original, now including additional offices, a visitor centre and streamlined road infrastructure in and out of the site”.

Mr Dickie added: “The new research and development visitor centre will allow PREL to host schools, universities and all parties interested in the renewable energy business so that we can educate them in the processes that turns waste into fuel, instead of landfill.

“Additionally, the newly improved highways scheme in and out of the plant, which includes a roundabout and cycle and pedestrian pathways, will actually reduce the number of road tonnes from 650,000 to 590,000 per annum, less lorry movements, and so even less pollution as a result.”

The new scheme also includes additional landscaping to shield it from the local Flag Fen Visitor Centre and any housing.

Councillors unanimously approved the application which is due to be completed in 34 months.