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WRG marks shift towards renewables

WRG has been charting the outcomes of an 18-month drive to shift its business more towards efficient waste management and renewable energy.

An example of the change is that WRG, part of FCC, the international environmental services, infrastructure and energy group, is expanding its energy crop activities.

Following a pilot which involved planting of miscanthus grass and short rotation coppice at 14 landfill sites across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Humberside and Yorkshire totaling 100 hectares, an additional 100 hectares will be planted at operational and closed landfill sites across the UK.

“The last 18 months have seen FCC’s UK business at the forefront of developing a range of new ideas and approaches geared towards delivering long-term sustainability and commercial advantage,” said UK chief executive Paul Taylor.

WRG is believed to be the first waste management business of its kind to undertake an energy crop initiative of this scale, and plans to sell the harvested crops to Drax Power Station, at Selby, Yorkshire, as a biomass fuel.

The company is also developing a number of small anaerobic digesters fed exclusively with energy crops such as maize. The crops will be grown on the WRG landbank and will supply electricity to WRG facilities with the surplus sold to the national grid. The first of these developments will be in Oxfordshire.

Construction started in May on a new EfW facility for Lincolnshire County Council. WRG is responsible for the design, build and operation of the 150,000 tonnes per annum facility which will supply 11 megawatts of electricity to the National Grid by the end of 2013.

WRG has also been awarded preferred bidder status by Buckinghamshire County Council for the development of a 300,000 tpa EfW facility at Greatmoor, north Buckinghamshire. WRG is also thepreferred bidderfor North Lincolnshire Council’s 27-year waste contract. The contract will treat up to 1.5 million tonnes of residual household waste over its lifetime. 

It was in February 2010 that WRG unveiled plans to introduce wind turbine energy generation on both its closed and operational landfill sites. Planning committee approvals have already been received for the installation of two turbines at each of two sites in the East Riding of Yorkshire with a total capacity of up to 6MW of electricity.

Further wind farm planning applications have also been submitted for a total of 14 large turbines at three other sites, and for single turbines at five other sites. A significant number of other projects are at the pre-planning stage.

WRG has joined RenewableUK, the trade and processional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries.

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