BIOMASS POWER STATION: Future Meets Present in Design, Technology, Responsible Energy Generation and Development

Going Green can create great design and an improved landscape.

United Kingdom — Planning permission has been granted to Thomas Heatherwick and his team to create a new biomass power station on a brownfield site in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, England.

The 49 megawatt station is set to bring clean, renewable power for over 50,000 homes, as well as to create hundreds of jobs during the construction period and beyond.

The application itself was submitted by Bio Energy Investments, who intend to power the station using palm kernel shells — the by-products of palm oil plantations. In using a so-called ‘waste product’, BEI will be providing the palm growers with additional revenue while removing a waste product that the growers themselves cannot use and ensuring that no land is diverted from food production.

The station is set to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. The outer structure of the power station is designed to be entirely constructed from organic curved panels, planted with indigenous grasses. Heatherwick’s idea behind this is to make the meeting of the power station with the earth indistinguishable, so that the building appears to be emerging from the ground.

As the project is located on the bank of the river Tees, all fuel is set to be delivered by ship rather than truck, therefore significantly reducing the impact on roads in the local area when the plant is in operation.

In an attempt to increase the number of low carbon communities, BEI-Teesside has been named as the pilot in the ‘Planning Performance Agreement’ scheme, announced in December 2009 by Housing Minister John Healy.

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