First look at green power plant plans

Homes could be powered by electricity produced from vegetable oil, if a green power station — like the artist’s impression here — gets the go-ahead.

Homes could be powered by electricity produced from vegetable oil, if a green power station — like the artist’s impression here — gets the go-ahead.

First published in News

A GREEN power plant which could supply 85,000 households with electricity is being proposed for Blackrod.

Company Blue-NG wants to build the “green” plant on land off Dark Lane.

The Combined Heat and intelligent Power (CHiP) Centre will use vegetable oil to create enough energy to power the equivalent of three quarters of all Bolton households.

If it is given the go-ahead, it will be built on the five-acre existing pumping station and three acres on neighbouring greenbelt land.

The company, which is a joint venture between renewable energy company 2OC and National Grid, hopes that if permission is granted this summer, it could be up and running by 2012.

Residents in Blackrod are eager to find out more about the plans.

The company is holding a consultation day at Blackrod Library in Church Street on Thursday, July 15, from 9am to 7pm, for people to learn more about the proposal and make comments.

John Price, chairman of the Blackrod and Horwich Environmental Action Group, said: “We are keeping an open mind about this which is only fair until we have had a meeting with Blue-NG to find out more about what they say is involved.

“After speaking to them, we will speak with residents and decide whether we want to object or support the forthcoming planning application.”

The fuel would be sourced locally and would create or sustain 66 local farming jobs.

While it is being built, it would create 250 construction jobs, but the technology is remotely operated so would not create any local jobs once the building is complete.

A spokesman for Blue-NG said: “Blue-NG is in the business of displacing fossil fuel generation. We will be supporting the rural economy by using oil from locally grown oilseed rape crops as fuel, along with waste cooking oil.

“The vegetable and waste cooking oil we use is virtually identical to what you have in the kitchen cupboard — it is not a fuel like petrol or diesel.

“There will be no smell, no smoke, and the oil will be brought to the site by between three to four tankers per day.

“We believe that with careful landscaping we can minimise the visual impact.

“We are constrained in choosing a location by the siting of the pressure-reduction station. It happens to be on the outskirts of Blackrod and we have no choice but to build alongside it.”

Despite the company’s green credentials it has caused controversy in other parts of the country.

A proposed site in Southall, near London, was last week thrown out by Communities and Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles over air quality concerns, while environmental campaign groups had objected to the development.

amanda.smith@ theboltonnews.co.uk

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