Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant
The Economic Development team worked closely with inward investor Eco 2 to find a suitable site close to the town. In a seven year journey from that first contact through the planning process to construction, the Sleaford Renewable Energy plant is a flagship project that showcases what can be achieved with a development team approach and which has resulted in the creation of jobs and apprenticeships while playing a key role in formalising the market for biomass products in the local area and promoting the links between agriculture and power generation.
Sleaford REP is a type of biomass plant. It generates steam through burning straw to create power for the electricity grid. It is therefore a source of renewable energy as its name implies. Its development was the culmination of seven years’ work from by developers, Eco 2 Ltd.
The plant, which came into operation in September 2014, generates 38 Megawatts of electricity — that’s enough to power 65,000 homes (North Kesteven only has 50,000 in total) using sustainable fuel sources and saving 150,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. The plant is a huge investment in the local economy. It cost around £165 million to build and employs 80 people, 30 at the plant and 50 in transport. Once again, Sleaford was chosen because of its proximity to agricultural produce, this time straw, a by-product of wheat production, to be used as fuel. Straw is sourced from farms within a 30-50-mile radius of Sleaford. Ash produced by the plant is recycled as fertilizer. Surplus heat is provided free of charge by Eco2 to heat Sleaford’s public swimming pool, Bowling Centre, Sleaford Town Football Club, William Alvey Primary School and NKDC’s offices in the town.