Veolia has become the first operator in the UK to achieve the R1 efficiency standard for all its energy-from-waste (EfW) plants.
The firm currently operates 10 plants that take around two million tonnes of non-recyclable waste, providing electricity for more than 300,000 homes, generating 240MWe.
In January 2015, Defra said only three plants in England were R1, including Veolia’s plant in Newhaven. It also said most existing plants could be accredited if their operators applied.
It is only required for plants to have the standard if they are fuelled by waste imports – which does not happen in the UK.
Designed to improve energy recovery performance, the R1 formula is set out in the Waste Framework Directive and is a performance indicator for the level of energy recovered from waste.
Assessment factors include the energy produced by the plant and the energy contained in the waste.
Veolia UK and Ireland technical director Richard Kirkman said: “Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy has a direct impact on modern life, and is linked to fuel poverty and carbon emissions. To virtually eliminate wastes and produce energy in its place is a win-win situation.
“By generating green electricity and heat from resources such as non-recyclable residual waste, we improve resource efficiency, reduce landfill and achieve greater sustainability as part of the circular economy.”