Energy Recovery Facilities, otherwise abbreviated and known as ERFs, are power generating stations specially designed to use as a fuel waste that is unsuitable for recycling or unable to be composted. Such facilities tackle waste management and climate issues by using what would otherwise be considered ‘rubbish’ to generate heat and power. The heat and power created from residual waste via ERF is then used as valuable electrical and thermal energy.
The Buttington Quarry ERF will use thermal treatment to generate safe and reliable renewable and low carbon electricity, which can be exported to the national grid, with the potential to supply both low carbon power and heat energy, which could be re-used for other businesses or even homes.
Renewable energy solutions of this kind are modern, safe and proven to be maintainable, effective and economic. The technology is advanced and as of 2005, all waste plants must meet stringent criteria to ensure the paramount safety of both its workers and the public.
The Buttington Quarry ERF will use thermal treatment technology to generate up to 11.5MWe of renewable and low carbon energy in the form of electricity and heat, enough to meet the equivalent demand of approximately 26,000 homes.This will be done through the thermal treatment of up to 150,000 tonnes per annum of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and MSW-like waste from industrial and commercial sources. Electricity will be exported to the National Grid to help provide greater security over supplies, whilst heat will be supplied to local businesses or new developments (including homes).
The ERF is being designed to supply both power (electricity) and heat energy to an eco-business park included in the development as part of the wider plans by the quarry owners. Notwithstanding this, energy could be supplied to existing developments in the area should suitable end users come forward.
The ERF will help to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, reducing carbon emissions associated firstly with landfill gas and secondly with the generation of electricity by more traditional means such as fossil fuels.
This fuel would be made up of residual waste principally from industrial and commercial sources and from which recyclable material has already been removed for processing in alternative streams. Much of the waste would be sourced from Powys and the surrounding areas as there are no other similar locally-based energy recovery facilities.
A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is being carried out as part of the planning process. The operations of ERFs are strictly regulated by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) under the Industrial Emissions Directive. The proposed ERF facility will need an Environmental Permit issued by the EA, without which it cannot operate.
Broad Energy takes its commitment to the local community very seriously, which is why the ERF will be constantly monitored for emissions. If these emissions go over the legal limits the facility will automatically stop operation until the issue is resolved.
In addition, a Construction Environmental Management Plan would be prepared, and implemented during the construction of the ERF, to include sections on: noise, vibration, air quality, water quality, ground contamination, site transportation and traffic management, visual intrusion and waste management.
Click here to view the planning and permitting process