Plans unveiled for new energy park in south east London

An energy and resource recycling management firm has revealed ambitious plans for an energy park which would enable residual black bin waste to be converted into green electricity.

Riverside Energy Park which is proposed for a site on the south side of the River Thames in Belvedere, south east London. The company state an ambition to start construction of the low-carbon energy park in 2021 and could be fully operational aby 2024. Cory say the energy park would complement its existing Riverside Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), and comprise a range of technologies including waste energy recovery, anaerobic digestion, solar panels, and battery storage.

By converting black bin waste into green electricity, nearby homes and businesses would benefit from cheap heat, particularly during times of peak usage. Furthermore, it would convert the residual ash that is left over at the end of the process into construction materials. Cory expects to create a further 175,000 tonnes per year of construction materials.

Cory Riverside Energy chief executive Nicholas Pollard said: “The new energy park represents a huge step forward when it comes to meeting London’s waste management and energy generation needs. Our current Riverside Energy Recovery Facility has been reliably operating at capacity and within all air pollution limits since day one, so expanding our energy generating capabilities in a more ambitious integrated Energy Park is the natural next step. London is facing a significant capacity gap in its ability to appropriately dispose of and treat all its waste. This new park is an important part of the solution. By employing a range of technologies which are proven at scale, we can expand our ability to generate clean, low carbon renewable energy for London and treat more of London’s waste within the city’s boundaries.”

Cory forecasts the Riverside Energy Park would:

  • Generate up to 96 megawatts (MW) of low carbon renewable electricity at peak times, which taken together with the permitted capacity of 72 MW from the existing Riverside ERF is the equivalent of powering c.300,000 homes across London (almost 10% of London’s 3.2m households)
  • Divert a further 650,000 tonnes of residual waste away from landfill, which will save an additional 130,000 tonnes of CO2 each year
  • Make use of Cory’s existing river-based infrastructure on the River Thames to further reduce road traffic. At present, Cory’s use of the Thames as a “Green Highway” currently removes around 100,000 truck journeys from London’s roads every year. The new park would allow for a further 80,000 truck journeys to be removed.
  • Be capable of supplying up to 30MW of affordable heat energy to local housing

The firm has now advised the government’s planning inspectorate, which handles applications for this type of project, of its proposals. In the meantime, it will develop the scheme and consult with the local community and other organisations about the proposals before formally submitting an application to the Secretary of State for development consent.

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