Dover District Council has given the go-ahead to a biomass combined heat and power (CHP) development at a science and business park.
Renewable energy company Estover Energy will develop the local scale biomass plant at Discovery Park, in Sandwich, Kent. The park is home to around 50 businesses.
The plant will supply renewable heat and electricity across the 220-acre site and to the national grid.
It will generate 11-15MW of power and 8-12MW of heat, enough energy to supply the equivalent of 21,000 homes with electricity.
The biomass plant will use locally sourced low-grade wood fuel. This will come solely from local forestry and woodlands.
Construction is forecast to begin in spring 2014 and approximately 100 jobs will be created during this period, with scope for a further 40 jobs once operational.
Energy minister Greg Barker said: “Estover’s local-scale biomass CHP plant is an exciting opportunity to make an important contribution to our renewable energy mix.
“By sourcing their fuel from the South East the wider benefits of developing a new supply chain are felt locally, helping to stimulate the rural economy and provide a much needed market to support coppice woodlands in South East England.”
Andrew Troup, development director at Estover Energy, said: “Our new biomass plant will help meet the energy challenges of the next two decades, it will be a great boost to the local economy and will stimulate long-overdue investment in the South East’s woodlands.”