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Fat- and Oil-Burning Plant Could Power 18,000 Homes

A £20-million clean energy plant has been proposed for a site at Shoreham Port in West Sussex, England. Portslade, Southwick, and Shoreham could all be powered by the proposed energy plant if it is approved and becomes operational. (Shoreham has a population of about 19,000–20,000.)

Edgley Green Power is the company responsible for the plan and potential construction. They would like to have the new plant running by 2014.

It would be built at Fishersgate terminal on a one-acre site next to the Shoreham Power Station. If completed, about twenty new permanent jobs would be added to the local workforce. During the construction phase, over seventy temporary jobs are estimated to be necessary.

Shoreham port has been said to be a very good location because the fuel sources can be brought there in bulk quantities by ship for processing, which means no new roads need to be constructed and no additional vehicles on existing roads. Additionally, the fuels used to burn to generate electricity would be recycled from other uses and contexts.

Used cooking oil, tall oil pitch, animal tallow, and waste vegetable oils unfit for human consumption are some of the fuel sources. Though it may be obvious to some that the waste vegetable oils would need to be unfit for human consumption, it is worth mentioning because sometimes critics of vegetable oil burning energy plants believe it is virgin oils that will be used and therefore there will be a food source taken away from people. For this facility, no virgin plant oils will be used.

Tall oil pitch is created during the wood pulping of coniferous trees in Scandinavia and Canada.

A European Union renewable energy directive stipulates that 15% of the UK’s energy should come from renewable sources by 2020.

West Sussex is located in the south of England and known for the natural beauty of its open spaces. It is also one of the sunniest places in England, so there is an interest in solar power development there.

Image Credit: Ian Stannard, Wiki Commons

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