What are the outputs from the process?

The main output will be the generation of energy, typically in the form of electricity, although the Northacre facility would also be able to export heat, in the form of either steam or hot water.

When configured to only export electricity, the Northacre facility would have a generating capacity of 25.6MW which would produce 201,830MWh/year which is sufficient to meet the average annual domestic power requirements of just over 54,000 homes.[1]

NREL is working to identify customers for potential use of heat and government strategy recognises the difficulties in securing a heat off-take prior a facility is actually operational.

In terms of residues, the Northacre facility would produce about 52,000 tonnes per year of bottom ash, referred to as IBA. This is an inert material from which metals will be removed for recycling. Thereafter, the IBA can be recycled as an aggregate for use in the construction industry.

The other residue is air pollution control residues (APCR) from the flue gas cleaning plant of which there would be about 9,000 tonnes per year. This is a powdered material that can be used to produce other materials or disposed of to landfill.

At the outset, all power is most likely to be exported to the grid, through a connection point at Frome. However, in the longer term NREL hopes to supply power to local business directly with a private wire network which could link to Northacre Industrial Trading Estate and Hawke Ridge Business Park who are constrained by power from the local grid.

[1] Based on UK average domestic consumption of 3.7MWh per household per year. Source Ofgem