The power plant at Kent is one of the world’s most advanced biomass power plants. With 27 MWe of capacity, it provides enough electricity to power some 50,000 homes in the area.
However, what’s interesting from an energy efficiency perspective, is how Kent puts process steam to good use. Instead of simply sending heat into the atmosphere like so many other power plants, the heat is channelled to neighbouring Discovery Park – a high tech hub for the UK’s pharma industry.
At Discovery Park, the process steam is used to clean equipment, sterilise instruments as well as provide heat. By building the plant in close proximity to Discovery Park, the plant delivers reliable affordable energy for end users.
The setup makes it possible to raise Kent’s total efficiency by approximately 5%. That might not sound like much, but when dealing with 27 MWe of power production, just a smal percentage makes a difference.
“It’s not enough to develop a project that can deliver profits for ten years or so. Our planet is seeing the effects of that short-sightedness. We’ve developed circular solutions that boost efficiency and protect resources over decades.”
Anders Brendstrup, General Manager, Biomass and Waste-to-energy Sales
Renewable fuel source
Kent reduces carbon emissions in other ways.
Instead of coal, wood is used as fuel from locally managed woodlands. And because the trees are replaced with new saplings, the fuel is part of a production cycle that is carbon-neutral.
At Kent and our other UK projects, we demonstrate that energy efficient solutions make a good business case.
Anders Brendstrup, General Manager, Biomass and Waste-to-energy Sales explains that in the age of climate change, energy planners have to take a far-sighted approach.
“It’s not enough to develop a project that can deliver profits for ten years or so,” says Brendstrup. “Our planet is seeing the effects of that short-sightedness. We’ve developed circular solutions that boost efficiency and protect resources over decades.”
Cooling towers could be a thing of the past.
Many traditional power plants waste heat energy by sending it into the atmosphere.
Simply put, CHP, or cogeneration, puts the surplus heat energy from electricity production to work. While power plants in the UK and elsewhere expel heat energy to the atmosphere through giant cooling towers, the frugal Danes direct heat energy contained in steam and channel it to district heating networks where it can be used to heat homes and businesses. Or they use the steam for industrial processes – so-called ‘process steam’.