Northacre Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) is special purpose joint venture established to deliver the Northacre energy from waste facility in Westbury. NREL is jointly owned by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, a UK independent power producer specialising in energy-from-waste and biomass facilities, and The Hills Group, a Wiltshire-based company with business activities including waste management, quarrying of aggregates and building new homes.
We are bringing forward the Northacre facility located in the Northacre Industrial Estate in Westbury alongside industrial developments including Hills’ existing Northacre Resource Recovery Centre (waste treatment facility).
The Northacre facility will provide a sustainable, long term solution for residual business and household waste, currently destined for disposal in landfill and export to Europe, by instead using it to generate low carbon energy. Landfilling of waste and long haulage routes makes a significant contribution to climate change effects. The need for the facility and the suitability of the location have already been clearly established by the existing planning permissions.
The facility represents a £200 million pound investment in Wiltshire, creating secure, low carbon energy and providing employment. It will create a sustainable solution for waste from households and businesses in Wiltshire and the surrounding region. The electricity generated will boost the local electricity supply network helping to unlock further development on the surrounding employment zone on the Northacre Industrial Estate and nearby Hawke Ridge Business Park.
The need for the facility and the suitability of the location have already been clearly established by the existing planning permissions.
On 17 June 2019, Wiltshire Council granted planning permission for a revision to the layout of the Northacre facility originally granted consent in 2015.
Wiltshire Council (Ref 14/12003/WCM) Decision Notice
Wiltshire Council (Ref 18/09473/WCM) Decision Notice
Wiltshire Council also approved plans to construct a screening bund and landscaping at Brook Farm, adjacent to the NRE site.
Wiltshire Council (Ref 18/09550/FUL) Decision Notice
Planning permissions were granted in July 2019 to install an underground cable that will connect the low carbon energy generated from the proposed energy from waste facility with the local distribution network at a substation on the edge of Frome. See the Grid Route.
Wiltshire Council (Ref 19/02481/FUL) Decision Notice
Mendip District Council (Ref 2019/0519/FUL) Decision Notice
The decision has been made to move from a gasification technology, to a conventional moving grate technology. This will necessitate a new planning application / permission. There is a combination of reasons why the technology for the project is being changed.
In the latter part of 2019 new lower emissions standards were introduced covering all energy from waste facilities. As a result, gasification offered no advantages on emissions when compared to more established conventional moving grate technology.
Whist gasification is a very effective technology, the supply chains for it were negatively impacted by the uncertainties created by BREXIT. Conventional moving grate technology supply chains are more established, and better able to offer an appropriate level of delivery certainty in a post-BREXIT UK.
In addition, conventional moving grate technology can offer more flexibility with predictable performance to adapt to the increasing focus and effort to remove certain materials such as plastic from residual waste streams.