Honda is given green light on power plant

The area within the Honda plant for which the company has received permission to build a biomass energy plant

The area within the Honda plant for which the company has received permission to build a biomass energy plant

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

BIOMASS will be used at Honda to generate electricity after Swindon Council granted planning permission for an energy centre at the South Marston plant.

The decision is seen as a vital sign of encouragement for any other firms interested in renewable energy in Swindon after the council threw out plans for a biomass plant in Cheney Manor last week.

Eight permanent jobs are likely to be created as a result of the centre.

Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) submitted a planning application for the energy centre, which will generate electricity and hot water through gasification of pre-chipped, clean, recovered wood, on December 17 last year.

In January, Peter Vandeputte, CEO at Pure Green, the firm behind the Cheney Manor biomass application, said their application should be accepted by default if Honda’s was given the green light, given their similarity.

However, Coun Des Moffatt (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney), who strongly opposed Pure Green’s plans from the start, is adamant Honda is offering a far greener prospect for the town.

“I am very happy with this decision because this is gasification, a new technology,” he said. “There is no burning of wood.

“They will heat the wood until gas is released from it. It is this gas which is then burnt to create the energy. The only thing coming out the chimney will be CO2 mainly.”

Coun Moffatt was also confident the decision by planners was a clear sign of encouragement for renewable energy in Swindon, after the widespread opposition to the Cheney Manor plans.

“This is an important statement. It is critical for Swindon Council to support green energy, but we won’t be taken in,” he said.

“We will support genuine green energy and we know the difference.

“What Honda has done is an example to any industry. They researched their subject and understood it completely before they started talking about it with the local community.”

The man leading the project for Honda was unavailable for comment, but Jason Smith, a director at Honda, said: “We are obviously very pleased with the decision and now look forward to turning this plan into a reality.”

A spokeswoman added: “Honda has been working for some time on its strategy to develop a mix of renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV and biomass.

“The energy centre, working in conjunction with the photovoltaic developments, will make Honda’s Swindon plant a global benchmark in energy risk management.”

Barry Thunder, of South Marston Parish Council, said: “We welcome the fact they have got a renewable system which doesn’t impinge on the quality of life in our village.

“Lorry movements are associated with such a thing. “An extra 10 lorries would get lost in the day-to-day transport and not really make anything different for local roads.”

The energy centre will have a gross output of 4.5mw and process 49,000 tonnes of pre-chipped, clean, recovered wood per year.

The proposed energy centre will consistently supply electricity directly into the operation, providing the Honda site’s base load energy requirement, and generating the equivalent of 30 per cent of the site’s total annual electricity demand.

The centre will be built at the northernmost border of the Honda site, on an area of land protruding into the South Marston Industrial Park.

The one chimney at the centre will measure 26 metres in height, three metres than existing stacks located in the main body of the manufacturing site.

Comments (17)

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7:59am Fri 21 Mar 14

AGINGER says...

Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston.
At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least.
Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston. At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least. AGINGER
  • Score: -9

8:24am Fri 21 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Poor South Marston residents......(sic)
Poor South Marston residents......(sic) A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -12

8:34am Fri 21 Mar 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

If Pure Green proposals had been based just off the M4 or A419 they would have had a better chance of going through. Trying to put them into a town center trading estate was never going to be acceptable.

I'm surprised the ill-wind campaigners didn't pick this up and put up a bigger fight.
If Pure Green proposals had been based just off the M4 or A419 they would have had a better chance of going through. Trying to put them into a town center trading estate was never going to be acceptable. I'm surprised the ill-wind campaigners didn't pick this up and put up a bigger fight. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 6

9:35am Fri 21 Mar 14

Davethered says...

Just wish they could do something about the smell of that coolant coming from the engine plant . On a bad day you can smell it all over the Town , horrible stinking stuff.
Just wish they could do something about the smell of that coolant coming from the engine plant . On a bad day you can smell it all over the Town , horrible stinking stuff. Davethered
  • Score: -2

10:10am Fri 21 Mar 14

EmmBee says...

AGINGER wrote:
Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston.
At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least.
Ironically, wind turbines don't make any smell. And we know what happened there - local residents didn't want them either.
[quote][p][bold]AGINGER[/bold] wrote: Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston. At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least.[/p][/quote]Ironically, wind turbines don't make any smell. And we know what happened there - local residents didn't want them either. EmmBee
  • Score: 11

11:06am Fri 21 Mar 14

John Trollston says...

Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.
Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town. John Trollston
  • Score: 0

11:21am Fri 21 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

John Trollston wrote:
Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.
Maybe you would prefer honda gone and have our council tax hiked by lets say 20-30%, you can try to run on that agenda, good luck to you.
[quote][p][bold]John Trollston[/bold] wrote: Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.[/p][/quote]Maybe you would prefer honda gone and have our council tax hiked by lets say 20-30%, you can try to run on that agenda, good luck to you. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 12

11:30am Fri 21 Mar 14

BCDR99 says...

John Trollston wrote:
Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.
I don't think that's quite the case, is it? Honda have been refused things.

Although let's be realistic here? So what if they are shown a little leniency as one of Swindon's largest employers. As long as the greater good of the town and its population is kept in mind, does it matter? We should be proud that a huge international brand chooses to locate in Swindon and directly employ, what is it - 3000 people? And indirectly another few thousand?

And no, I don't work for Honda or any of the related companies.
[quote][p][bold]John Trollston[/bold] wrote: Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.[/p][/quote]I don't think that's quite the case, is it? Honda have been refused things. Although let's be realistic here? So what if they are shown a little leniency as one of Swindon's largest employers. As long as the greater good of the town and its population is kept in mind, does it matter? We should be proud that a huge international brand chooses to locate in Swindon and directly employ, what is it - 3000 people? And indirectly another few thousand? And no, I don't work for Honda or any of the related companies. BCDR99
  • Score: 13

12:02pm Fri 21 Mar 14

swindondad says...

"The only thing coming out the chimney will be CO2 mainly.”

Scientifically and grammatically incorrect.
"The only thing coming out the chimney will be CO2 mainly.” Scientifically and grammatically incorrect. swindondad
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Fri 21 Mar 14

swindondad says...

Localized power production is part of the solution to the countries power needs and it is less harmful to the environment when the heat produced is not wasted.

It would have been nice to see a power plant that could use the fuel produced at the SCS plant so as to save all the fuel miles.
Localized power production is part of the solution to the countries power needs and it is less harmful to the environment when the heat produced is not wasted. It would have been nice to see a power plant that could use the fuel produced at the SCS plant so as to save all the fuel miles. swindondad
  • Score: 2

12:39pm Fri 21 Mar 14

mrwoo says...

Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so.....
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so..... mrwoo
  • Score: 1

1:11pm Fri 21 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

swindondad wrote:
Localized power production is part of the solution to the countries power needs and it is less harmful to the environment when the heat produced is not wasted.

It would have been nice to see a power plant that could use the fuel produced at the SCS plant so as to save all the fuel miles.
A shame they cant harness all the hot air on here then!
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: Localized power production is part of the solution to the countries power needs and it is less harmful to the environment when the heat produced is not wasted. It would have been nice to see a power plant that could use the fuel produced at the SCS plant so as to save all the fuel miles.[/p][/quote]A shame they cant harness all the hot air on here then! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Fri 21 Mar 14

STFConyourpitch says...

John Trollston wrote:
Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.
Sadly mate Honda chose Swindon because of its amazing trade routes and the quick access to the 2 major cities Bristol and London which are relatively the same distance. Honda needs Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]John Trollston[/bold] wrote: Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.[/p][/quote]Sadly mate Honda chose Swindon because of its amazing trade routes and the quick access to the 2 major cities Bristol and London which are relatively the same distance. Honda needs Swindon. STFConyourpitch
  • Score: 0

9:08am Sat 22 Mar 14

RichardR1 says...

As has been said no emissions from Wind Turbines, but they were scuppered by campaigners. Of course Honda had plan 'B' & 'C'it seems. Plan B the Highworth Road Solar Farms, and now the Biomass plant.
As has been said no emissions from Wind Turbines, but they were scuppered by campaigners. Of course Honda had plan 'B' & 'C'it seems. Plan B the Highworth Road Solar Farms, and now the Biomass plant. RichardR1
  • Score: 1

12:05pm Sat 22 Mar 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

STFConyourpitch wrote:
John Trollston wrote:
Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.
Sadly mate Honda chose Swindon because of its amazing trade routes and the quick access to the 2 major cities Bristol and London which are relatively the same distance. Honda needs Swindon.
"Trade routes" are only part of the reason. Plenty of other places can offer similar and even better trade routes. Swindon only really goes east to West on the M4. To go North or South is a pain in the neck if your a lorry driver. Newbury could have offered East, West, North and South.

Location costs would have been a larger factor as Swindon sits in a low cost bubble and has done for many many years.
[quote][p][bold]STFConyourpitch[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Trollston[/bold] wrote: Why does this not surprise me.Swindon needs Honda more than Honda needs Swindon.They will do and agree to anything to keep this employer in the town.[/p][/quote]Sadly mate Honda chose Swindon because of its amazing trade routes and the quick access to the 2 major cities Bristol and London which are relatively the same distance. Honda needs Swindon.[/p][/quote]"Trade routes" are only part of the reason. Plenty of other places can offer similar and even better trade routes. Swindon only really goes east to West on the M4. To go North or South is a pain in the neck if your a lorry driver. Newbury could have offered East, West, North and South. Location costs would have been a larger factor as Swindon sits in a low cost bubble and has done for many many years. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 2

12:41pm Sat 22 Mar 14

John Trollston says...

However, Coun Des Moffatt (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney), who strongly opposed Pure Green’s plans from the start, is adamant Honda is offering a far greener prospect for the town.


of course Mr Moffatt greener prospects right.
However, Coun Des Moffatt (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney), who strongly opposed Pure Green’s plans from the start, is adamant Honda is offering a far greener prospect for the town. of course Mr Moffatt greener prospects right. John Trollston
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Sat 22 Mar 14

mug? says...

EmmBee wrote:
AGINGER wrote:
Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston.
At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least.
Ironically, wind turbines don't make any smell. And we know what happened there - local residents didn't want them either.
I wanted wind turbines and I live less than half a mile away. I expect there were more people who supported them than were against but no one asked who supported it. Maybe Honda could have been more proactive. I don't understand what the problem was with the turbines. I think people like to reject everything just for the sake of it . They certainly don't spoil the view. They would actually enhance it because that great big car plant isn't very nice to look at. Instead we are going to be bombarded with all kinds of pollutants. There is a hive of turbines visible from uffington white horse. They look fine to me. I think they look quite nice. I also quite like the old fashioned windmills. I think they look nice.

With our childish politicians placing sanctions on Russia and fuel bill likely to shoot upwards and possible shortages to boot (I'm speculating) wind turbines are looking more and more like a good idea.

I think it should be made law that all new build houses incorporate solar panels and a wind turbine in the garden.
[quote][p][bold]EmmBee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AGINGER[/bold] wrote: Councillor Moffatt, you fail to tell us of the other gases which will be passed into the air which will fall on South Marston. At present the fumes coming from the same company are not just Co2, On the 12th March last I was at "Merchiston Surgery Stratton at 8,30 am, the air I breathed was not the best quality,it was stinking,something between a burnt out clutch and a burned out electric motor,the reason was, wind in the East, so the living in South Marston was refreshing in the least.[/p][/quote]Ironically, wind turbines don't make any smell. And we know what happened there - local residents didn't want them either.[/p][/quote]I wanted wind turbines and I live less than half a mile away. I expect there were more people who supported them than were against but no one asked who supported it. Maybe Honda could have been more proactive. I don't understand what the problem was with the turbines. I think people like to reject everything just for the sake of it . They certainly don't spoil the view. They would actually enhance it because that great big car plant isn't very nice to look at. Instead we are going to be bombarded with all kinds of pollutants. There is a hive of turbines visible from uffington white horse. They look fine to me. I think they look quite nice. I also quite like the old fashioned windmills. I think they look nice. With our childish politicians placing sanctions on Russia and fuel bill likely to shoot upwards and possible shortages to boot (I'm speculating) wind turbines are looking more and more like a good idea. I think it should be made law that all new build houses incorporate solar panels and a wind turbine in the garden. mug?
  • Score: 1

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