A GREEN energy company has expressed delight at a positive response from local people to its plans for a 340-job eco-friendly power station in Northumberland.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) wants to build the 100 megawatt, biomass-fuelled generating plant at Battleship Wharf near Blyth to provide enough renewable electricity for 170,000 homes a year.
About 200 local people attended a recent series of public exhibitions of the proposals, and yesterday RES said three-quarters of them were enthusiastic about the power station being built next to the River Blyth.
The company says the project will create between 200 and 300 jobs at the peak of construction work, and when built the plant will create 40 permanent jobs, mostly filled by local people.
The generating complex will comprise a group of fuel storage buildings up to 25m tall and a 60/70m-tall boiler house with a chimney up to 100m tall.
Yesterday RES said the three exhibitions, part of its pre-application consultation process, had given residents the chance to find out more, ask questions and voice any concerns. Visitors were asked to fill in questionnaires and the initial results showed that 75% of those who responded said they support the project.
RES said only 5% opposed the scheme while 20% said they had no opinion.
Yesterday David Maunder of RES said: “We were really pleased to have had a lot of interest in the project, and delighted with the positive response we received from those who visited the exhibitions.
“They provided a good opportunity for local residents, stakeholders and other interest groups to find out more about the proposals and to provide us with their feedback. Some visitors had a few concerns and we will look into these in more detail as we put our planning application together. Overall, the majority of those who filled in our survey were very much in favour of the project, and we look forward to continued liaison with local stakeholders as we move forward.”
The main reasons listed for supporting the biomass plant were that it would provide local employment, contribute to regeneration efforts and support the renewable energy drive.
Two potential designs for the plant, which were unveiled at the exhibitions, both received support from visitors, said RES. More information on the project can be found at www.northblythproject.co.uk