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Plans for a small renewable electricity generating facility at Shoreham Port have been passed by Adur District Council's planning committee.
Specialist renewable energy company Edgeley Green Power has welcomed the news, and plans to start the construction of the £20m biofuel power station as soon as possible. It will be built on a one acre site next to the existing Shoreham Power Station on Fishersgate Terminal - an established industrial and power generating area.
Mike Reynolds, Edgeley Green Power's chief executive said: "We are delighted our plans for a new renewable power station have been approved by Adur District Council, and we look forward to starting construction by the end of this year and we aim to become fully operational in early 2015. Projects such as this are important because they contribute to the security of energy supply and will create local jobs."
It will generate approximately 32 mega watts of renewable electricity - enough to meet the average needs of 18,000 homes every year. For comparison this is equivalent to more than the whole of Shoreham, Southwick and Portslade.
The new power station will be fuelled by a range of independently audited vegetable and plant oils and animal fats which aren't fit for human consumption. These are required to meet the sustainability criteria within the Renewable Obligation, a Government scheme designed to encourage generation of electricity from renewable sources. The fuel will be transported direct to the site by ship rather than road.
20 permanent jobs are set to be created once the power station opens for business, including an apprenticeship scheme and the staff will be recruited from the local area where possible. It is also estimated more than 70 temporary jobs will be created during construction, but there will be no more than 20 workers on site at any one time.
Edgeley Green Power had previously responded to concerns raised about the project by submitting further detailed information to Adur District Council about the sustainability of its fuel, along with impacts on local air quality, odour and noise levels. The company has also produced a simple summary, available online at: www.edgeleygreenpowershoreham.co.uk.
The company still has to apply for an environmental permit from the Environment Agency, which will set limits for emissions and noise, both of which are monitored closely.
Shoreham Port's development director Peter Davies also welcomed the news saying: "We are pleased the project has been given the go ahead. It is good for the port and good for jobs. The planning authority properly looked into local people?s concerns about the fuel source and possible environmental aspects and found the scheme to be both safe and sustainable. We now look forward to seeing the power station being built."