A biomass plant in Norfolk has finally been approved by the local council, after the planning application was delayed to give time for environmental impact assessments.
The Snetterton Biomass Plant will burn mainly oilseed rape and straw, generating 40MWe (megawatt electrical) of energy, enough to power between 62,000 and 68,000 households.
The plant’s operator Iceni Energy said it could pump around £9 million a year into the local economy by sourcing all straw for the fuel from East Anglia where possible.
Chief Executive Andy Hilton said: “As well as providing 80 permanent jobs, operating the plant and delivering fuel, the plant will unlock Breckland Council’s plans to double the 30 hectares of business and light industry by providing the grid connection infrastructure required.”
He said this expansion would then generate between 500 and 1,500 jobs by 2021 in the local area.
Not all local residents were pleased by the decision, with one local councillor quoted in a Norwich newspaper worried the plant’s demand for straw could be a “time-bomb” for local farmers already struggling to find straw.