HUNDREDS of jobs will be created after plans for a £600m "green energy" power plant cleared the final hurdle.
The Government has ruled on incentives for renewable energy projects – ending months of uncertainty for MGT Power, the company behind a biomass power station proposed for Teesport in Middlesbrough.
A number of major green schemes, worth billions of pounds in total, are awaiting the go-ahead on Teesside and MGT’s project is among the largest.
It is one of the few UK biomass schemes competing for investment it says is vital for them to go ahead and bosses say the company is now set to go ahead.
Plans had been in limbo since February, while the major green energy industries awaited a Government decision on Renewables Obligations Certificate (ROC).
That ruling finally came this week – and means the plant’s revenue level is guaranteed for the next 20 years.
Around 150 people will be employed at the plant – with a further 500 in the supply chain and hundreds more in construction. An estimated £30m will be generated for the local economy.
“This really is the final regulatory hurdle out of the way – we are very pleased,” said MGT director Chris Moore.
“The doubts in the minds of UK lenders and equity providers have been removed as far as big biomass projects go.”
Moore said the fact the company was ready to build meant it could meet the Government’s proposed deadline.
“MGT must be one of the few biomass companies with all of its ducks in a row – watch this space,” he added.
ROC incentivises firms towards green electricity. It obliges them to buy a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources – in turn boosting the green sector.
The decision was welcomed by renewable energy chiefs on Teesside. A similar banding decision for offshore wind was termed a “major step forward”. Teesside is one of the closest industrial centres to the UK’s largest windfarm zones, including Dogger Bank, in the North Sea. Energi Coast, a steering group of more than 20 North East offshore renewables firms, has already ploughed £400m into operations, employing more than 6,500 people.
Alex Dawson, of Teesside-based TAG Energy Solutions and chairman of Energi Coast, said: “We believe this is the first step to creating some stability in an industry, which has the potential to become a cornerstone of a successful economy.”