Plans for a major 7ha integrated energy site incorporating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, solar PV and district heating have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, potentially more than doubling power output of the current facilities.
Cory Riverside Energy has submitted plans for a 96MW, 7ha energy park on the south bank of the Thames at Belvedere to the Planning Inspectorate under the nationally significant infrastructure project regime.
The Riverside Energy Park proposals, falling within the London Borough of Bexley, await acceptance for examination by 14 December. They include a range of technologies including waste energy recovery, anaerobic digestion for food and green waste, together with solar PV and battery storage. There are also plans for associated domestic district heating networks.
The new development, which would open by 2024, is intended to complement waste management firm Cory’s existing Riverside Resource Recovery Facility, which has operated at the Norman Road site since 2011. It is the largest operating Energy from Waste facility in the UK, with access to river-based infrastructure for black bin waste delivery. It processes 750,000t/yr, generating 72MW.
If approved, Riverside Energy Park would increase Cory’s capacity by 655,000t/yr of commercial and industrial waste to generate low-carbon energy, to also include London’s black bin, non-recyclable waste for use particularly at times of peak electricity demand. It would have power generation capacity of up to 96MW megawatts, with a new connection to the electricity network and "provision for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) readiness", according to its November 2017 EIA scoping report. The anaerobic digestion plant "would be sized to process up to approximately 40,000t/yr of food and green waste". Residual ash is intended to be converted into building materials for use in London.
Key potential environmental issues identified beside noise and traffic during construction and operation include increased NO2 and particulates from road and river traffic, odour from wastes, dust and particulates during construction, increased metal deposition into soil from air, together with increased NOx concentrations, nitrogen, sulphur, hydrogen fluoride, ammonia and acid deposition that could affect sensitive neighbouring ecosystems.
The move follows an announcement by Cory in October that it had completed a £554m debt-refinancing package for its Riverside Energy from Waste plant, in turn following acquisition of the group in June by a consortium led by Dalmore Capital, Fiera Infrastructure, Semperian PPP Investment Partners and Swiss Life Asset Managers.