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Thursday, 24 September 2020

Huge new low-carbon power plant could replace Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, bringing homes and jobs to the area

The plant would work in a similar way to the Eastcroft Incinerator, in Nottingham’s London Road.

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A large new power plant could be built on the site of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.

Plans are due to be submitted later in the year but the firm behind the scheme says it could generate enough electricity to power 90,000 homes.

It would also save around half a million tonnes of non-recyclable waste from going to landfill – that’s the equivalent weight of around 2,725 Boeing 747s.

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The plant would work in a similar way to the Eastcroft Incinerator, in Nottingham’s London Road.

Plans are at an early stage, but two consultation events have now been planned so local residents can be consulted on the project.

Uniper – the German-based company responsible for the project – already runs several similar plants across Europe, as well as a gas-powered plant in Retford and the current facility at Ratcliffe-on-Soar.

The old coal-powered plant, near the A453, is due to be decommissioned by 2025, in line with the Government’s plan to stop all coal-fired generation by then, however, an exact date is yet to be finalised.

The new facility would be known as the ‘Emerge Centre’.

Though the scheme would not be zero carbon, it would create dramatically less carbon than the current site, and Uniper says it would be the first step towards the site being ‘a zero-carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands.’

The new power plant forms part of much bigger plans for the area, currently being drawn-up by a multi agency group called the East Midlands Development Corporation.

If it comes to fruition, this could see thousands of new jobs, and thousands of homes created over the Ratcliffe-on-Soar site, as well as Chetwynd Barracks and around the proposed HS2 station at Toton.

The idea for the new plant would be to take waste which is leftover from the recycling process – essentially whatever can’t be recycled – and to use it to create electricity and heat, which could then be used for any businesses which choose to locate to the site.

Emissions are computer-monitored, as they are at London Road, and can also be monitored around the clock by the Environment Agency to ensure they meet regulations which are already among the most stringent in the world.

Additives are added to the gas to ‘clean’ it before it is released.

Plans are likely to be submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council later on this year, and a decision would then be expected on whether the scheme can proceed a few months later.

The company hopes the site could be fully operational by 2025 – the deadline by which the coal power station has to close.

Andy Read is the project manager of the scheme for Uniper, and said: “The Emerge Centre would be an important first step in securing jobs and investment at Ratcliffe-on-Soar after coal-fired generation ends.

“It would provide reliable and sustainable lower carbon energy and help reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste being diverted to landfill.

“I’d like to encourage people to come along to the public information events in March to find out more about our plans for the Emerge Centre and wider vision for the site”.

Two public consultation events are planned for the project.

One will be held between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, March 9 at Thrumpton Village Hall.

The other will be between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, March 16 at Gotham Memorial Hall.

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