8 March 1996

Straw power go-ahead

STRAW-powered energy got a fillip last week with the news that the European Development Corporation has secured planning permission for a 31MW power station near Ely, Cambs.

Despite local objections the project, which also involves NORWEB, has been given the go-ahead. The final application included bunding and landscaping to reduce the visual impact, and plans to sink the plant 6m into the ground, notes Mike Edwards of NORWEB. Fewer than three lorries an hour will visit the plant once operational, he adds. Banks Agriculture and Northern Straw are to arrange baling and transport of straw from local farms.

Initial supplies will be collected from harvest 1997, with full production the year after. Contracts will be on offer soon. &#42