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06 Mar 2019

Progressive Energy submits application for £150M renewable energy facility at Protos

Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, has signed a deal with Progressive Energy to deliver the UK’s first commercial scale Bio-Substitute Natural Gas (BioSNG) plant at the 54-acre Protos energy hub near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

The plant will generate renewable gas from up to 175,000 tonnes of bio-resources, including unrecyclable wood and refuse derived fuel (RDF). This gas will be used in the transport sector, generating enough gas to power up to 1,000 low carbon HGVs and buses every year.

The development will see a further 500 jobs created at the Protos site during construction, with 35 full time permanent, high skilled jobs. It represents an investment of £150m.

Chris Manson-Whitton from Progressive Energy said:

“Although the UK is making good progress in decarbonising its electricity supplies, the transport and heat sectors – which together represent around three quarters of our energy consumption – are lagging way behind. Facilities such as this could make a huge difference, providing renewable gas for transport fleets across the North West and beyond. In the future we could see a large proportion of the UK’s HGVs powered by this fuel.”

Jayne Hennessy from Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, said:

“There’s a growing momentum around energy in the North West and projects such as this demonstrate how we’re leading the energy revolution. At Protos we’re delivering innovative low carbon energy solutions that can power the Northern Powerhouse and Progressive Energy’s ground-breaking technology will be a great fit for the site.

“Protos sits at the heart of the Energy Innovation District – a whole energy system that could set the blueprint for the UK. Through innovative technologies and smarter distribution networks we can drive down the cost of clean energy, attracting new businesses, jobs and investment.”

BioSNG is a replacement for the regular natural gas that is currently supplied to our homes and businesses. BioSNG can be injected into the existing gas network, providing the opportunity for the plant at Protos to export fuel to the wider UK without the need for any road movements.

The plant will also be configured in the future to produce renewable hydrogen, potentially linking into Cadent’s plans to build a hydrogen network in the region as part of its HyNet project.

Subject to planning approval and funding, Progressive Energy’s plant is due to start production in 2022. It is expected that a further eight similar facilities could be built across the UK during the 2020s.

Protos sits within the Energy Innovation District (EID) which brings together energy users, network owners, innovators and partners working alongside Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester. With the objective of driving down the cost of clean energy the EID is an opportunity to deliver a new decarbonised energy system for the North West of England, meeting the Government’s Clean Growth agenda while boosting economic growth and investment.