GROWERS OF Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) in Dumfrieshire and Cumbria are being asked to come forward to supply a new power plant in Lockerbie, Scotland.

Building of the £90m, 44MW plant will start later this year and it is expected to begin commercial operation in December 2007, according to Renewable Fuels, which has won the contract to supply the plant.

It is expected that locally-grown SRC willow will account for 45,000 oven-dried tonnes from the 220,000t total. This equates to the establishment of up to 3700ha of SRC willow over the next six years, the firm said.

“It is imperative that we increase our use of local and natural resources for power generation and the biomass plant will be a great example of this,” said Renewable Fuels managing director, Bob Smith.

Once complete, the Lockerbie plant will be the UK’s largest dedicated biomass station, the firm said.

The Scottish Executive Farmland Premium grant provides £1000/ha for establishing SRC, added Scottish forestry minister, Rhona Brankin.

“There is increasing interest in Scotland in using biomass as a fuel for generating heat and power, not only as a means of developing a new market for our increasing forestry production, but as a means of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.”

See www.renewablefuels.co.uk for more information on contracts available.