England's North West has a high proportion of process heat users. Biomass is often the best option, however pre-development costs can be a major constraint. This is where the North West Biomass Project came in.
The funding for this project came from the Northwest Regional Development Agency, but the project was managed by Envirolink Northwest in partnership with The Mersey Forest and ended in March 2011. Assistance was available to develop plans to the stage where formal planning permission was submitted, thereby removing some of the pre-development risk for biomass proposals. All approved proposals were tendered out to consultants.
Types of assistance that were available:
- Environmental assessments and emissions modelling
- Detailed equipment assessments
- Site surveys and engineering drawings
- Grid connection specifications
- Support with capital grants.
Work was carried out to strengthen the biomass supply chain, deliver training and identify and resolve areas where fuel supply is weak. In addition, the project identified the practical measures needed to lever in additional/greater proportion of funding from natural sources, particularly capital grants for installations.