New power plant cultivates Teesside tomato plant nursery

P3P Partners have recently agreed to develop, install and maintain another Combined Heat and Power Energy Centre for APS Group. This time in Billingham, Teesside.

The new installation will be the fifth of its kind, following previous developments in Alderley Edge, Kent and the Isle of Wight.

Contracted for the design and construction of the project is Cambridge HOK, who acted as principal contractor on the Isle of Wight. Whilst the design fundamentals remain largely the same, enhancements have been brought in to improve and upgrade the new Energy Centre. This is primarily to integrate the CHP system and its COdiNOX gas cleaning procedure with the existing high-pressure steam delivery system, along with the two backup boiler. Once complete, this will provide a reliable supply of electricity, heat and CO2 to the tomato grower, all year round.

Clarke Energy are to install two 3.3MWe Jenbacher engines, which will act as the primary source of electricity, heat and CO2. This tri-generation concept is highly beneficial for the grower, since greenhouse plants grow better in a CO2 rich atmosphere, to the extent that growers implement a variety of systems in order to increase the CO2 concentration in the greenhouse.

In this particular scheme, CO2 is ‘scrubbed’ from the exhaust gases from the CHP engines, then mixed with an additional supply of pure CO2 from the neighbouring fertiliser before being fed into the glasshouses. The Energy Centre is expected to be operational in time for the new crop of tomatoes, when planted at the end of this year.

Two dual fuel boilers also ensure there is a dependable supply of heat and CO2 during both planned and unplanned maintenance of the Jenbacher CHP engines or the CF fertiliser factory. Furthermore, construction of a 5.6 million-litre thermal storage tank allows the grower to accommodate for the fruits’ seasonal and highly weather dependent heat demand profile.

Other modifications and improvements to the installation include a new grid connection, installation of additional CO2 and heat distribution pipes, and the laying of a new gas pipeline to site.

Once commissioned, the Energy Centre should help APS grow their winter crop using artificial lights.