Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 12:32 UK

University builds biomass plant


Biomass power plant being built at the University of East Anglia.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is to become one of the first in the country to have its own power station.

Work has almost finished on an £8.5m biomass generator which will convert wood chips into electricity at the site in Norwich.

The aim is to cut the university's carbon emissions by more than a third in two years, the UEA said.

The power station will use locally sourced wood chips and should be producing power by the autumn.

The university said it already generated 60% of the electricity it needs on site.

With the biomass plant's gassifier it will be able to increase that to 90%.

The gassifier works by "super-heating" wood from local sawmills. The gas which is produced powers an engine, which in turn generates heat and electricity.

In the summer, when there is low demand, the university hopes to have a surplus of power, allowing it to sell electricity back to the national grid.

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