Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a need for an EnergyPark?
Climate change, waste reduction, improving the local economy are all compelling reasons to develop an EnergyPark but the principle motivation is to remove landfill as a waste management option. Landfill creates significant pollution of the air and land. In addition it represents a disregard for materials that could be re-used, the replacement of which, through mining, forestry and transport creates additional pollution. Other waste treatment methods are not complete solutions often requiring a landfill back-up and often followed by exportation to other countries.
In addition to providing sustainable waste management, the EnergyPark also creates renewable energy. Energy production is a major climate change contributor. We all rely on power but sadly the overwhelming majority comes from fossil fuel or nuclear power stations. The power produced at the EnergyPark is renewable and makes the complete-cycle process more sustainable than any other waste recycling or recovery plant thereby providing a climate change benefit.
Locally in Peterborough we have another issue in that the Dogsthorpe landfill has only a limited life. The EnergyPark turns waste into an asset and is an environmentally sustainable way to overcome this reliance on landfill and boost Peterborough’s green credentials.
The EnergyPark works on a 100 per cent recovery/recycling basis, so that none of the waste ends up in landfill. Plus, as an added bonus, during this process it will create enough electricity to power 60,000 homes and saves at least 614,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
- DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS BIG?
The development area is less than 30 acres and the two main buildings are each less than two football pitches in size. The complete development is smaller than a typical supermarket distribution centre and this current application is almost 20 acres smaller than the previous application submitted in 2005.
- HOW MUCH WASTE WILL IT DEAL WITH?
The EnergyPark has the ability to recycle and recover value from a maximum of 650,000 tonnes per year. This just a fraction of the millions of tonnes of waste found in the area, the majority of which is currently ending up in landfill sites.
- WHY THIS LOCATION?
The land, off Storey’s Bar Road in Fengate, was allocated by Peterborough City Council for a major waste management facility according to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Local Plan.
Furthermore, it is located within an industrial zone suitable for combined heat and power development and sandwiched between Peterborough Power Station and an area which has planning permission to build three 90-metre wind turbines. The site is also close to major waste centres and has suitable infrastructure to support it.
Being close to major waste centres such as the MRF, the EcoTrade centre, the Dogsthorpe landfill and other waste yards also helps to reduce the impact of waste transport.
- WILL THE ENERGYPARK RUIN THE HERITAGE SITE OF FLAG FEN?
The park will have no adverse effect on Flag Fen. Detailed technical studies including archaeological, hydrological and air impact reports all draw this same conclusion. Nevertheless, we have worked with Flag Fen on a hydrological recharge system, so that if their site dries out we can wet it and keep it moist. New screening and landscaping will improve the views from Flag Fen by helping to screen the existing power station. The screening will also assist in improving bio-diversity and wildlife in the area.
Peterborough Renewable Energy Ltd is keen to be an active and supportive neighbour of Flag Fen and is hoping to work with the facility to develop a number of joint projects to ensure Flag Fen remains a top tourist attraction in the City and County.
- WILL THERE BE HARMFUL EMISSIONS?
Any emissions are considered insignificant in terms of Environmental Quality Standards. The facility will actually purify the air by removing particle and pollutants created by other industries and traffic. Total annual harmful emissions from the EnergyPark for the year would be less than harmful emissions created by one garden / rubbish bin fire.
There has been general false public concerns about dioxins from energy facilities. The potential amount of dioxin from a plant over a whole year can be shown to be equivalent to the amount of dioxin inhaled from 1 cigarette.
Dioxins in Cigarette Smoke H. MUTO et al Archives of Environmental Health, Pg. 44 (3) : 171-4 May/Jun
- WILL IT BE NOISY?
No. When the park is up and running, any noise produced from equipment will be contained within the specially constructed walls. In addition, noise studies show that the area is already significantly affected by other major noise emitters in the area. Noise levels are expected to be at their highest during the construction phase although work will be limited to day-time working hours and contractors will be obliged to adhere to all codes of best practice.
- ARE THERE HEALTH RISKS INVOLVED?
No. The facility must conform to standard operating procedures monitored and enforced by the Environment Agency under the terms of the IPPC Permit. The Health Protection Agency no longer requires public health inspections of modern facilities as any risk to health is “so small that it would be indetectable.”
Additionally, the health risk for the facility as modelled shows there is no risk from operating the facility. In order to operate, a full disaster recovery procedure has been drawn up to ensure safety in the event of an incident. Statistics say you are 3,000 times more likely to be killed in a car crash and 500 times more likely to die in a gas explosion at your home, than suffer fatally from the EnergyPark’s activities. There is a greater risk to health from composting waste (including green waste) than from using thermal treatment methods that conform to IPPC standards.