£200m Energy Works power plant reaches kay milestone

£200m Energy Works power plant reaches key milestone

A key element of the new £200m energy-from-waste power plant has been completed, marking a milestone in the Humber’s largest current building project.

Engineering firm Spencer Group has steered the Energy Works scheme in Hull from concept to delivery and the company is now playing a key part in the construction of the vast green energy facility.

Up to 150 Spencer Group staff and sub-contractors have been delivering the £35m package of civil and structural works for the green energy power plant and the Spencer team has now completed the Energy Academy, a learning, research and development facility created in partnership with the University of Hull.

The arched building incorporates the control room for Energy Works as well as education and research and development facilities.

The building has full viewing windows on both floors and is purpose-designed to offer operational staff, researchers and visitors wide-ranging views of operations on site.

The partnership with the university will support two full-time PhD students and offer schools, other educational institutions and the local community the opportunity to learn about the benefits of renewable energy technologies.

Specifically, the Energy Academy will support research related to the technologies within Energy Works and related processes.

Energy Works is the largest privately-funded power station of its kind under construction in the UK and the first advanced gasification power plant to be supported by Government’s Contracts for Difference regime supporting green technologies.

Energy Works is owned by a consortium of international investors specialising in waste to energy projects and has been supported by a £20m European Regional Development Fund grant to support green energy innovation.

The 25MW facility is due to begin generating electricity in 2018, using an energy recovery process called fluidised bed gasification to produce sufficient energy to power 43,000 homes by processing 240,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) annually.

Richard Burgess, deputy managing director of Hull-based Spencer Group, one of the UK’s largest private multi-disciplinary engineering companies, said: “Completion of the Energy Academy is a key milestone for the whole project.

“From the outset the objective was for Energy Works to be more than a power plant and construction of the Energy Academy demonstrates that ambition is being delivered.

“Energy Works will be at the forefront of waste to energy technology in the UK and pave the way for further innovation in this field. The Energy Academy and the partnership with the University of Hull will play a key part in maximising the research and development opportunities Energy Works offers.”

Spencer Group operations director Andy Beach added: “As a Hull-based company, everyone at Spencer Group is very proud of Energy Works and the benefits it will bring to the city and region.

“We’re also excited that the Energy Academy will play such an important role in providing insight and inspiration to take forward the renewable technologies within Energy Works.

“The Energy Academy is unusual as it is an on-site facility as part of a working plant, rather than based in an educational institution. That means it offers a great opportunity to combine academic research with operational evidence.”