A PLANNING application has been approved for a 49MWe biomass-fuelled power station in Stockton-On-Tees, Teesside. The project, known as BEI-Teesside, will bring £150 million of investment to the region. It will reinvigorate a brownfield site on the bank of the River Tees, and create hundreds of jobs during the two-year construction period and beyond.
This decision by the planning committee is a bold step forward for Teesside, which prides itself on its understanding and experience of technology and industry. Teesside will now take its place among the leading producers of green energy in Britain. BEI-Teesside will provide many exciting opportunities for the region. Matthew Day, project director for the development said:
„We are very pleased with the decision today. It confirms that Teesside is on course to become the national centre for renewable energy and low carbon living. We believe this Iconic building will become an exemplar of modern power station design; a local landmark, and also a national symbol of Britain‟s strategy for Renewable Energy. We have an ambitious design team capable of understanding and responding to the practical complexities of the project. Heatherwick Studios, the designers, have brought a level of design and artistic thinking rarely associated with this typology of building and we look forward to developing this project with the local government and local companies‟
Rising from the flat industrial landscape of Clarence Works, at first sight it looks more akin to an art gallery than a power station.
Constructed entirely of organic sweeping curves, Heatherwick Studios has created a striking building unlike any other power station in existence which is sure to become an iconic landmark on the Tees Valley skyline. With a structure that reflects its purpose the building is, in places, literally green. For a visitor approaching, the building will seem to rise indistinguishable from the surrounding landscape. The exterior is composed of panels, which will be planted with indigenous grasses. The power station occupies only a third of its brownfield site, with the remaining four hectares to be landscaped to form natural grassland. The site is currently barren with little or no ecology, and the project will create a suitable habitat for the rare flora and fauna that return to industrial sites such as this.
Engineered with the latest technology it will also contain offices, a visitors’ centre and an education resource centre for Renewable Energy offering stunning views across the Tees Valley. A work of art in itself, it will reflect the ambitious redevelopment plans for Middlehaven just a few hundred meters across the river and provide an important development for Stockton linking it to the Middlehaven development.
BEI-Teesside will be powered by using the by-products of crops as a fuel, the benefits of this are that no land will be diverted from food production or from forestry for the fuel. It will also provide the crop growers with additional revenue and clears away the unusable material.
The location of the project, on the river Tees, allows for all fuel to be delivered by ship, ensuring lorries are not used in the delivery of fuel. This will significantly reduce the impact on local roads when the plant is in operation.