The council’s planning committee approved plans for the facility, which will recover heat and electricity from up to 60,000 tonnes of organic waste per year – generating renewable electricity to power around 3500 homes. A horticultural glasshouse, which will use some of the heat produced, will be developed alongside the facility and operated by Howden-based specialist Plant Raisers to propagate mainly tomato plants.
The £23.5mn project will use the process of anaerobic digestion (AD) to treat organic commercial and industrial waste and produce 1.5MW of heat and up to 2.75MW of electricity - the AD faility accounts for £17.5mn of the total project cost. The AD process at North Selby will also produce up to 30,000 tonnes of digestate each year which could be used by local farmers as a bio- fertiliser. Low-carbon electricity produced by the AD facility will be used by the glasshouse and exported to the National Grid via the existing on-site connection.
Myles Kitcher, Director, Peel Environmental welcomed the news. “As we look to bring forward other sites for the co-location of waste infrastructure, it is encouraging to see that the value of what we are trying to achieve in terms of developing mixed-use sites with waste infrastructure development at their core has been recognised. As a developer bringing forward merchant facilities, we are confident that we can quickly get this scheme off the ground and into operation.”
The facility will provide an economic boost to the area, he said, providing up to 256 jobs during construction and 56 full time positions and 50 seasonal positions during operation, with the impact of these in the region of £2.2mn Gross Value Added (GVA) per year. The facility will provide 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon savings compared to sending the waste to landfill – greater than the levels of CO2 produced by City of York Council. “This will contribute to ambitious targets to reduce emissions and increase recycling in York and the surrounding areas,” Kitcher said.