The wood fired combined heat and power plant, funded under the Environment and Renewable Energy Fund, will cost a total of £4.3million. It will be built at the site of North Down Borough Council’s headquarters, the Castle Park demesne in Bangor.
Arlene Foster said: “This highly innovative plant will use waste wood, collected at the Council’s amenity sites and has the potential to generate electricity and provide heating to a number of North Down’s public buildings. The Council will gain significant benefits from the supply of much of the energy requirements for its planned new Leisure and Aquatics Centre, which will house Northern Ireland’s first 50m swimming pool. This is due to open by the end of 2011 and will form part of the legacy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She continued: “The combined heat and power plant, due for completion in 2011, will contribute to Northern Ireland’s target of generating at least 12% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2012. The usage of waste wood will also avoid sending more than 3,000 tonnes per annum of potentially good biomass fuel to landfill and provide CO2 emission reductions equivalent to 1,000 tonnes of carbon per annum, by reducing the use of oil, gas and electricity.”
The Mayor of North Down, Councillor Leslie Cree, MLA, is looking forward to the completion of the renewable energy installation.
Mr Cree said: “This is a very exciting development for the Council in waste and energy management and has the potential to provide heating to a number of our public buildings, including the new Leisure Centre, Town Hall, the refurbished Walled Garden and potentially a range of other educational buildings nearby.
“The combined heat and power plant will be state of the art and give the Council annual savings in energy and waste management equivalent to £663,000 per annum.
“The plant will be fuelled by waste wood chipped to form a high quality fuel which will then be burnt in a 2.5MW biomass boiler supplying steam to a turbine which will have a renewable electricity generation capacity of 280kWe.”