Our renewable energy plant at Snetterton is now fully commissioned and operational, the plant exports 44MW of clean green electricity which is enough to supply 82,000 homes and save over 300,000 tons of CO2 every year

Generating

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Megawatts

of green electricity

Supplying

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Thousand

homes with energy

Saving over

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Thousand

tons of CO2 a year


Snetterton Plant Inaugurated

The Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant was officially opened on the 14th September 2017 by Cllr. Kate Millbank, Chairman of Breckland Council in the presence of local, national and European dignitaries.
Chairman of Breckland Council, Cllr. Kate Millbank said “I’m delighted that the construction of the new biomass plant is now officially complete. This important project has provided a real boost to the local economy and created a number of jobs, which is excellent news for local people, while providing a significant amount of green power for the region.”

Read the full article here


How did we build our plant?

Building a renewable energy plant is a very complex business and we started ours with full access to site on 1st December 2014, with it completed and ready to generate clean green energy on 22nd April 2017 – ahead of schedule and within the £173 million budget for the project. Here’s an overview of what we needed to do to be able to generate renewable energy:

  • Once we’d cleared the site ready to start building, we began the construction process with the foundations for the buildings. This was one of the noisiest periods while we were building as it included piling – driving the anchor points of the buildings far into the ground –with what was essentially a very big hammer.
  • The next step was to start work on the cable route to take the electricity we generate and add it to the national grid. The route was 11.5 miles long and ran from Snetterton to Diss. First, we laid the ducting and then pulled the cable through, managing the process to cause as little disruption to the roads as possible.

Snetterton Construction Site (may 2016)
Snetterton Construction Site (May 2016)

  • Next came the erection of the steel buildings that house our renewable Energy Plant and then we started assembling the power plant components. These were delivered along prior agreed transport routes with a few of our neighbours taking time out to watch the unusual convoys as they passed by.
  • With all the separate parts of our energy plant on site, we were then able to bring in the large crane and lift all the different sections in to place.
  • We carried out the first pressure tests in mid-June 2016. This is where we tested all the individual sections of the boiler to make sure they were more than capable of dealing with the pressure of the steam that is now passing through them. We tested them to extremes far greater than they will ever be put under during normal operation to ensure they are as safe as they can possibly be.

  • By the summer of 2016, UK Power Networks (UKPN) had tested our completed cable and adopted it as part of their broader network – meaning it was ready to start taking electricity from our Plant.
  • We began the second set of hydraulic tests in mid-July 2016. These took place once all the high-pressure welding had been completed to push the boiler to extremes, ensuring that all the welded sections had been successfully completed and the boiler was ready to be used.
  • In October and November, we carried out our steam blow testing. This was one of the final processes for cleaning the boiler to make it ready for commissioning. The noise of the high-pressure steam being emitted was louder than normal and we appreciated the patience of our near neighbours during this period.

Snetterton Project Construction Timeline

  • The first synchronisation of our energy plant took place on 13th December 2016. This was a culmination of almost three years work on site when we ensured all the separate processes were working effectively together and that the energy generated could be safely transferred along the cable and into the local power grid.
  • Our energy plant was then fully commissioned and we took it over into commercial operation on 22nd April 2017.

Snetterton Project Cable Route Map

Snetterton Project Cable Route Map


Health and Safety

At the Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant, the Health and Safety of everyone involved in our project is of paramount importance.  We work continually to ensure we have created a safe working environment for our entire team, to be the most responsible of neighbours and work with our entire community to make sure our project does not have a negative impact on anybody’s health and wellbeing.

All our Contractor’s lead managers have signed the Snetterton Safety Pledge:

“This is our project and we believe that each person working on it deserves to come home from work every evening unharmed and together we share the commitment to make that happen by maintaining a safe site and looking out for each other’s safety”.

Throughout this process we will work closely with the Health and Safety Executive to make sure our project and all our team achieve the highest possible Health and Safety standards.  For more information please take a look at www.hse.gov.uk/eet/ which provides a brief overview of HSE’s regulatory approach and the challenges faced by renewable energy industries.