Subsidy loss scuppers plan to use waste heat

A Suffolk company's plans to use waste heat from a new municipal incinerator to heat a proposed 20ha tomato glasshouse development have been stymied by a change in Government policy.

Tomatoes: plan was to use waste heat from incinerator
Tomatoes: plan was to use waste heat from incinerator

Sterling Suffolk has said it still hopes to go ahead with building one of the two glasshouses before the end of the year but is now looking at using biomass and ground heat systems instead.

One of the company's partners, local farmer Michael Blakenham, said: "The changes to the funding rules make the cost of changing the energy-from-waste plant too uncertain."

The original plan was developed by Sterling Suffolk and the plant operator Suez (formerly SITA) together with Suffolk County Council (HW, 6 December 2012). The power plant went into operation at the start of last year.

But a joint statement from the companies reads: "Millions of pounds would need to be spent on adaptations to the EFW (energy from waste) facility and on pipework to connect the two sites. The withdrawal of a Government subsidy for such projects before the glasshouses could reach fruition means it is no longer commercially viable to go ahead with the adaptations." Plans to heat local housing with heat from the plant have also had to be dropped.


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