It is really important to us that you have the answers to any questions you might have about us and our project. We’ve put together the answers to the questions which we get asked most frequently however, if there is anything else you’d like to know then please just ask. We will continue to add to these FAQs so please do check back here to see our updates
What is biomass?
Biomass is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. Scientifically this applies to animal matter as well, however when we talk about biomass for energy generation we always mean plant material. This can be straw, wood, food waste or other energy crops such as miscanthus for example. At Snetterton we will primarily use straw supplemented with Miscanthus, woodchip and OSR.
How does a biomass power plant work?
Biomass plants work in much the same way as a coal fired power station. The biomass is burnt at really high temperatures with this heat used to turn water into steam which then powers a turbine, generating electricity. This energy is then carried by cable to the national grid to be used across the region.
Does burning biomass emit more harmful greenhouse gases than coal?
No. We are anticipating our biomass power plant will save in the region of 300,000 tons of polluting CO2 every year. The difference between using biomass and coal or other fossil fuels is simply that the carbon released through burning biomass has only very recently been absorbed from the environment so is part of the existing carbon cycle, the carbon from fossil fuels was absorbed millions of years ago so when released adds to the carbon in the atmosphere.
How much biomass will you need to burn every year for the power plant to run at full capacity?
We will burn just over 250 kilotons every year at full capacity.We have already contracted with a number of local suppliers and will work with further potential suppliers as our power plant begins to take shape, working with producers locally and regionally whenever we can.
What happens to the electricity that is generated?
All the electricity we generate is carried through cables and fed directly into the national grid.
Will your power plant be noisy when it’s operational?
No. The processes we use to generate electricity do not create much noise. In fact any noise we do make you probably won’t be able to hear, as it will be lost in the general background noise of the area – weather, normal traffic, other businesses etc. Our planning consent also limits the noise level at the edges of our site so we will also be monitoring our own noise to make sure we aren’t causing a nuisance.
Will there be more traffic on the roads because of your project?
Yes there will be, but at around 40 fuel lorries per day this increase will be well within the capacity of the local road network to support. As part of the planning application process we have completed a Traffic Management Plan to ensure this increase has as little impact as possible. Deliveries will largely reach our site from the A11.