Feedback from the second public consultation held on 9 and 10 December by Peel Energy continues to show strong levels of support for the proposed Barton Renewable Energy Plant on a site located on the south bank of the Manchester Ship Canal in Trafford.
Following the submission of the planning application earlier in the month, Peel Energy invited members of the public to view the plans for the 20MW biomass-fuelled plant at an open consultation at the Powerleague Soccer Dome at Trafford Quays Leisure Village. The use of biomass to generate energy is often described as a carbon neutral technology as the fuel is derived from plants that absorb carbon dioxide from the air as they grow.
Senior members of the project team were on hand to explain the proposal to over 60 residents from Trafford and Salford who attended the consultation. Visitors were also able to ask staff from the Environment Agency about their role in the planning process as well as being able to discuss the proposal with Planning Aid, an independent body that offers advice to the public.
A questionnaire asked visitors for their views on the Barton Renewable Energy Plant plans. Overall 80% of attendees who provided feedback said that they strongly agreed with the proposal.
The government remains committed to expanding low carbon energy generation in the UK. Environment Secretary Chris Huhne has said: “We remain committed to developing generation from marine energy, biomass and anaerobic digestion.”
The Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has also stated: “Biomass is the UK’s single most important renewable energy source.”
Peel Energy project director, Jonathan England commented: “We continue to be extremely pleased with the level of backing being demonstrated for the Barton Renewable Energy Plant project by the community. We now look forward to other stakeholders offering their support in the coming months as part of the wider consultation.
“Our proposal is robust and modern in outlook. It will meet all statutory air quality criteria and deliver secure renewable energy and heat to communities and businesses in Trafford and Salford.”
If planning consent is granted, the plant is expected to create over 100 construction jobs from 2012 and at least 15 local jobs once the plant is operational in 2014, as well as provide enough renewable electricity to power up to 37,000 homes – more than one-third of the homes in Trafford.