We want to make sure that we answer all the questions you have about us and our biomass power plant. To help you find out what you’d like to know, we’ve put together the answers to the questions we get asked most often. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here then please do contact us and ask, we’re always happy to help. As new and different questions come up we will continue to add the answers, so please do visit this page again for updates.
What is biomass?
Biomass is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. Scientifically this applies to animal matter as well, however when we talk about biomass for energy generation we always mean plant material. This can be wood, straw, food waste or other energy crops such as miscanthus for example. At Templeborough we use waste wood from municipal collection points, construction sites and other industrial and commercial waste wood sources to generate our energy.
How does a biomass power plant work?
Biomass power plants work in much the same way as a gas fired power station. The biomass, in our case waste wood, is processed, chipped and then burnt at really high temperatures. This heat is used to turn water into steam which then powers a turbine, generating electricity. This energy is then carried by cable to the national grid to be used across the region.
Does burning biomass emit more harmful greenhouse gases than coal?
No. Our biomass power plant will save in the region of 150,000 tons of polluting CO2 every year. The difference between using biomass and coal or other fossil fuels is simply that the carbon released through burning biomass has only very recently been absorbed from the environment so is part of the existing carbon cycle, the carbon from fossil fuels was absorbed millions of years ago so when released adds to the carbon in the atmosphere. Furthermore, waste wood not collected and used in this way is often disposed in landfill, where it decomposes releasing methane, a gas around 20 times more harmful to the environment than CO2.
How much wood do you need to burn every year for the power plant to run at full capacity?
We are working with Stobart Biomass Products Ltd., a subsidiary of the Stobart Group, who also part own the Eddie Stobart logistics company. We will use around 260,000 tonnes of locally generated waste wood per year which requires 40 lorry loads of waste wood chip every day to generate 41MW of power. On average every person in the UK generates approximately 100kg of waste wood products per year, so the Yorkshire and Humber region alone generates over twice the amount of waste wood that is required by our plant.
What happens to the electricity that is generated?
All the electricity we generate is carried through cables and fed directly into the national grid.
Is your biomass power plant noisy when it’s operational?
No. The processes we use to generate electricity does not create much noise. In fact any noise we do make you probably won’t be able to hear, as it will be lost in the background noise of the local area. Our planning consent from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council limits the noise level at the boundary of our site that we are allowed to generate.
Is there more traffic on the roads because of your biomass power plant?
Yes there are, but at around 40 fuel lorries per day this increase is well within the capacity of the local road network. As part of the planning application process we have completed a Traffic Management Plan to ensure this increase has as little impact as possible. Deliveries will largely reach site from the M1 Junctions 33 or 34.