Peel plans in for £150m renewable energy plant

Peel Environmental has signed a deal with Progressive Energy to deliver a £150m bio-substitute natural gas plant at the 134-acre Protos energy park near Ellesmere Port.

The plant will generate renewable gas from up to 175,000 tonnes of bio-resources, including unrecyclable wood and refuse derived fuel. This gas will be used in the transport sector, generating enough gas to power up to 1,000 low carbon HGVs and buses every year.

A planning application has been submitted by Peel and Progressive Energy. The plant will also be configured in the future to produce renewable hydrogen, potentially linking into Cadent’s plans to build a hydrogen network in the region as part of its HyNet project.

Subject to planning approval and funding, Progressive Energy’s plant is due to start production in 2022. It is expected that a further eight similar facilities could be built across the UK during the 2020s.

Other developments at Protos, formerly known as Ince Park, include a 35MW energy-from-waste plant, as well as outline planning consent and part detailed planning consent for general manufacturing and distribution uses, as well as a biomass facility.

Chris Manson-Whitton from Progressive Energy said: “Although the UK is making good progress in decarbonising its electricity supplies, the transport and heat sectors – which together represent around three quarters of our energy consumption – are lagging way behind. Facilities such as this could make a huge difference, providing renewable gas for transport fleets across the North West and beyond. In the future we could see a large proportion of the UK’s HGVs powered by this fuel.”

Jayne Hennessy from Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, said: “There’s a growing momentum around energy in the North West and projects such as this demonstrate how we’re leading the energy revolution. At Protos we’re delivering innovative low carbon energy solutions that can power the Northern Powerhouse and Progressive Energy’s ground-breaking technology will be a great fit for the site.

“Protos sits at the heart of the Energy Innovation District – a whole energy system that could set the blueprint for the UK. Through innovative technologies and smarter distribution networks we can drive down the cost of clean energy, attracting new businesses, jobs and investment.”

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