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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Grass power to heat 2,000 homes
Elephant grass
The plant will save one tonne per hour of carbon dioxide
A power station fuelled by grass is to be built in Staffordshire.

Work will begin later this year on the 6.5m bio-energy station at the Raleigh Hall Industrial Estate, in Eccleshall, near Stafford.

The two-megawatt generator will be capable of supplying 2,000 homes and run on Miscanthus, or elephant grass.

The grass originated in Africa and about 170 farmers are now diversifying into growing the crop, according to recent estimates.

Miscanthus is a perennial woody grass which gives high yields for at least 20 years.

The development agency Advantage West Midlands has approved a grant of more than 900,000 to Eccleshall Biomass Ltd.

It's of major importance to rural industry, not just in Staffordshire but across the whole country
Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass Ltd

The plant will operate 24 hours a day and save one tonne per hour of carbon dioxide which would be emitted generating electricity from fossil fuel.

A company spokesman said emissions had been voluntarily set to a higher standard than the regulatory requirements for air quality and there would be no visible steam plume or odour emitted.

Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass Ltd, said: "There has been a determined team effort to get this project off the ground.

"It's of major importance to rural industry, not just in Staffordshire but across the whole country.

"Energy crops offer a genuinely sustainable and environment-friendly alternative source of business to farmers as well as helping to meet our obligations in reducing carbon emissions."




SEE ALSO:
Wind farms 'must take root in UK'
19 May 05 |  Science/Nature


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