Biomass, Renewables

UK set for first coal and biomass co-firing plant

22 June 2005 – The first dedicated biomass co-firing plant in the UK will be built in Warrington after Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) contracted Alstom to design and install two dedicated biomass co-firing systems at its Fiddler’s Ferry power station.

The new systems will be installed to the existing coal fired boilers at the power station’s Units 2 and 4 and they are expected enter commercial operation during the first quarter of 2006.

Fiddler’s Ferry has four 500 MW coal fired boilers, which were originally supplied and commissioned by Alstom during the early 1970s. Although it is at present co-milling biomass on a commercial basis, the amount of biomass that can be fired in such co-milling systems is limited by existing mill performance.

The Alstom system will significantly increase the proportion of biomass co-firing in line with the SSE strategy of generating up to 1500 GWh per year from co-fired Renewables Obligation Certificate qualifying output, thus increasing benefits to the environment by using renewable resources for electrical production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The system is designed to handle a wide range of biomass materials, which also provides fuel diversity and future fuel flexibility to the operator.

Biomass firing is being encouraged under EU Renewable Energy Incentives as an eco-friendly technology capable of making a major contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.