11 August 2005

Heat and power from miscanthus – AWM chief visits energy schemes

he chairman of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) last week visited the Shropshire/Staffordshire border to see the progress being made on some of the region’s innovative regeneration and business development schemes. These included biomass projects to produce energy at Harper Adams University College and Raleigh Hall Industrial Estate, Eccleshall. Key to both projects is Talbott’s, a Stafford firm which supplies combustion systems that generate heat and power from energy crops and wood-based waste materials.

Nick Paul saw Talbott’s newly developed high-speed biomass turbine which will form an integral part of the biomass generator heat and power system to be installed at Harper Adams University College, as part of a £1.5 million green energy demonstration project part-funded by the DTI.
This new, patented technology will allow the efficient, reliable and viable production of renewable biomass energy on a small scale, providing the university with 100kW of electrical energy and 150kW of thermal energy.

The generator will be installed at Harper Adams later this year, to demonstrate crop production through to energy use. The university’s commercial farm business will help provide energy crops to power the generator, through DEFRA’s Energy Crops Scheme. Additional fuel will be sourced from local farm businesses, and research will allow them to be tested for energy production in addition to wood, short-rotation coppice, and energy crops.

Talbott’s is also a key partner in the Eccleshall Biomass project, a £6.5 million scheme to develop a two-megawatt power station – the first in the UK to be fuelled by grass. Fuelled by a renewable energy crop called miscanthus – or elephant grass – grown by a co-operative of 170 farmers in Shropshire and Staffordshire, Talbott’s steam-turbine generator will supply electricity to 2,000 local homes.

The project has received funding of £935,000 from AWM, as well as core funding from the DTI and DEFRA and investment from the private sector.
Mr Paul said: “The Agency has a key role in helping to transform the region’s economy and this is an exciting project where the private sector and local farmers have created a unique partnership.”

Source: ShropshireStar.com Aug 08, 2005.

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