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Public exhibitions take place showcasing £200million energy park


By Chris Cromar

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Three public exhibitions have taken place in Garioch showcasing the proposals for a world-leading low carbon energy park that is planned to be built in Port Elphinstone.

Aberdeen based Agile Energy has proposed to develop a low carbon energy park at Kirkwood Commercial Park and the catalyst for the project includes a state-of-the-art Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), which will be capable of producing and utilising both electricity and heat.

Earmarked to cost £200 million, if approved, it is due to come online in 2022 and will be called the Inverurie Energy Park.

During construction, the ERF itself will create around 300 jobs at its peak, with a further 40 permanent, operational jobs once in full operation.

The public exhibitions were held over three session in Kintore, Inverurie and Port Elphinstone respectively and allowed interested parties the opportunity to find out more about what is proposed and to provide feedback and comment.

Members of the public were able to make comment on the proposals.
Members of the public were able to make comment on the proposals.

As well as this, members of the development team and representatives from Agile Energy were on hand to provide further details and answer questions.

At the end of October, a Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) was submitted by Agile Energy Recovery (Inverurie) Ltd for the Inverurie Energy Park to Aberdeenshire Council.

Similar proposals were consulted on in 2012 as part of wider regeneration proposals for the Inverurie Paper Mill site.

The development of the ERF is in direct response to the Scottish Government’s ‘Scottish Energy Strategy’ and will contribute significantly to the national zero waste strategy by recovering energy from discarded materials that cannot be recycled.

The forthcoming ban on the landfilling of food, paper, garden and any other biodegradable waste was recently extended by the Scottish Government from the initial 2021 deadline until 2025, due to a shortfall in available recovery facilities to replace landfill capacity.

A shortfall in the development of facilities capable of dealing with this waste has been identified across Scotland and Agile’s proposed facility is designed to assist in dealing with the current shortfall.

It is argued that the plant will solve the problem that exists in the north-east by removing the continuing need for landfilling of the region's waste.

The facility will also provide low carbon heat and electricity, allowing local businesses the opportunity to showcase the best use of these sustainable resources in the north-east.

The ERF will receive around 200,000 tonnes of pre-treated residual, non-hazardous waste, otherwise destined for landfill.

Agile Energy will use proven energy-from-waste technology, which will thermally treat the waste to generate electricity and heat, and the ERF will accept predominantly business and commercial waste.

It will export circa 20MW of electricity, which is enough to power approximately 62,000 homes and has the potential to supply circa 80MW of heat, enough to heat at least 32,000 local homes and businesses through a district heat network and distribution of heat batteries.

Agile Energy plan to deliver the heat to a community-owned energy company, which will in turn be empowered to deliver the heat to consumers at a price which will be competitive with natural gas.

Commenting on behalf of the development, managing director of Liberty One Communications, Steven Park said he was: “pleased with the feedback so far” and said: “It's very early in the consultation process, but so far it has been positive feedback.

“People see the need for these kind of facilities, climate change is a real issue.

“When you've got any kind of development like this in a particular area, we support people at every opportunity to not only see the plans, but comment on the plans as well.”

Also commenting, Agile Energy business development director, Graeme Taylor said: “I think it's imperative that you have the whole community on board.

“What we're trying to do here is provide a plant that is going to enhance the local area, we don't envisage any negative impact from the plant at all.

“It's state-of-the-art technology now, it's not going to be designed in any other way than minimal impact for everybody concerned.”

Commenting on the location, Mr Park said: “I think it's important as well that the site's already there zoned for commercial use, there's a business park down there, so it's an ideal facility having that location.”

Mr Taylor also said: “We've spend a long time looking at different sites in the area and this was chosen for a reason, it's an ideal site for this type of project.”

With the first round of public exhibitions over, the second round will take place in early 2020, with Agile Energy proposing to submit a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council in the first quarter of next year.


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