Energy company E.ON gave deputy prime minister Nick Clegg a tour of its £120million Blackburn Meadows biomass power station in Sheffield as the 30MW facility nears completion.
Blackburn Meadows is in the final stages of construction and is due to be fully commissioned later this year.
It will burn locally-sourced waste wood to create electricity. Once fully operational, it will produce enough energy to power 40,000 homes and supply hot water to a new £20m low-carbon district heating network in the Lower Don Valley. It will capture an additional 25MW of heat energy which would otherwise be lost in traditional energy generation.
Nick Clegg MP said: “As a Sheffield MP I’m particularly proud that our city can look forward to being powered by 30MW of low-carbon, green energy thanks to this development. This is particularly important in the context of hitting our targets to reduce emissions and make our energy production more secure.
“Around 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be displaced every year, the equivalent of taking more than 20,000 cars off the UK’s roads. E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows biomass facility is a significant step to make Sheffield a greener and more sustainable city.”
Work started on Blackburn Meadows in 2011 and 3,400 people have been involved in the construction process, including a number of local contractors.
The plant will create more than 30 full time jobs. E.ON says it has helped ensure £15m of investment has stayed locally.
A visitor centre will open later this year.