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Centrica Energy withdraws from two biomass planning applications

Centrica Energy has announced that it will not proceed with planning applications to develop dedicated biomass power stations at Roosecote in Barrow-in-Furness and at Glanford Brigg in North Lincolnshire.

Centrica Energy had proposed to build a new 80 MW biomass power station on the site of its existing Roosecote gas-fired power station, and a 137 MW biomass power station adjacent to its existing gas-fired power station at Brigg.

However, while the Government has declared its support for biomass as part of the UK’s future energy mix, recent clarification on the regulatory framework relating to dedicated biomass plants indicates a preference for co-firing and coal conversion to biomass.

This includes a consultation on a cap on dedicated biomass ROCs, a consultation on greenhouse gas limits on the biomass supply chain not being certain for 20 years, and the likely exclusion of dedicated biomass projects from the new capacity mechanism.

Centrica Energy also confirmed that it would be withdrawing the existing gas-fired power station at Roosecote from service as it considers options for the plant, including permanent closure, the sale of the asset or redevelopment.

The existing gas-fired power station in Brigg will continue to operate.

Renewable Energy Association Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “We cannot afford to have companies with the standing and acumen of Centrica dropping out of the sector. This is bad news for employment, the supply chain and energy security. Biomass is an economic and baseload source of renewable power. With a capacity crunch looming in 2015, Government should be doing its utmost to encourage such shovel-ready projects. It must act swiftly to repair investor confidence in biomass, and renewables in general. Right now the Government seems to have an institutional bias against new biomass power projects.”

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