Plans for renewable energy plant go on show

Public meeting at Victoria hall, Oakham, about plans for a renwable energy plant between Langham and Ashwell. Kedco representative Trad Henderson, left, and Larkfleet Group planning director Richard Edwards.
Public meeting at Victoria hall, Oakham, about plans for a renwable energy plant between Langham and Ashwell. Kedco representative Trad Henderson, left, and Larkfleet Group planning director Richard Edwards.
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ABOUT 100 people attended an exhibition of plans for a renewable energy plant between Langham and Ashwell on Thursday, March 8.

Developer Larkfleet Group and renewable energy firm Kedco held the public exhibition to showcase their plans for an anaerobic digestion facility proposed for a site in Burley Road, Langham.

The site would turn agricultural material, including farm slurry, grass, maize and wheat from Rutland farmers, into energy which would be fed into the National Grid.

The showcase, held in the Victoria Hall in High Street, Oakham, was an opportunity for people to consult with staff from Kedco and Larkfleet Group about the plans for the new renewable energy facility.

About 100 people attended the event.

Kedco spokesman Trad Henderson said: “From our point of view today has been a positive day, it has been very well attended.

“It’s generally been very good, the normal things have come up, does it smell, the noise, movement of traffic, where the feed is coming from.

“I think people are quite positive about the scheme over all.

One of the major concerns addressed was the potential impact to local traffic.

Mr Henderson said: “As long as we can tell them the route of traffic and assure them it’s not going through Langham village in particular, that has given people the satisfaction and confidence that we have carefully considered where deliveries are coming in.”

Residents raised concerns about whether deliveries would be affected by seasonal variations, peaking during the harvest, but Kedco said there would be a regulated schedule of five to seven deliveries a day.

The companies will be working with organisations like Rutland Agricultural Society and the farming community about supplying the materials for the facility.

Mr Henderson said: “We try and keep as much as we possibly can in county, if not just on the borders, so as close as possible.”

He said if the plans are approved the long-term supply contracts with the farmers would offer them financial stability to underpin their businesses.

Anaerobic digestion is a process in which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process produces biogas suitable for energy production rich in methane and carbon dioxide.

The process is widely used as a renewable energy source in facilities across Europe with Germany leading the way.

Kedco estimates the proposed site would generate up to 1.3 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to power more than 2,350 homes.

The Larkfleet Group, which owns the site, is building 1,100 homes in Oakham in the next 15 years under its flagship company Hawksmead. The first 100 homes will be built at the Oakham North site in Lands’ End Way by the end of the year.

Once the firms have completed their consultation they would need to put in a planning application for the wast site. It would create four full-time jobs.