Honda seeks to build energy plant at Swindon site

This Is Wiltshire: Where the energy plant would be housed Where the energy plant would be housed

HONDA is looking to build a state-of-the-art energy centre at its factory in South Marston.

An application has been submitted to the council that would see the plant provide a portion of the site’s power in renewable form.

If successful, the new centre will replace former plans to build three wind turbines, which had been rejected.

Although the centre will take the form of a biomass plant, Honda is keen to stress it is very different from other proposals in Swindon.

The company will bring in recycled wood chip which will then be converted into gas. The heating of this gas then provides the energy.

Julian Bliss, a senior staff engineer at Honda, said the new centre would give the company far more energy security in the long term without affecting residents nearby.

He said: “The important factor with the system we are using is that there will be no actual burning of wood in the process. This is a gasification process as opposed to combustion.

“We heat the wood up to incredibly high temperatures without oxygen, which in turn make it a gas. It is this gas which is then effectively boiled which creates heat to turn the turbine.

“The emissions which are generated are minimal and you will not see fumes pouring out of chimneys.”

When in operation the energy centre will generate about 3.8 megawatts of power at all times of the day.

This is the base level of power the plant needs at all times, even when it is not operational. The vast majority of energy it generates will be used to power the factory, although if there is a surplus this will be put into the national grid.

“This will give us much more security with our power as we will not be susceptible to power outages,” said Julian.

“It is an efficient energy source and will also mean we are taking less electricity out of the grid.”

If it gets the go-ahead the energy centre will be located on the north section of the plant, with a single stack not jutting above neighbouring buildings and affecting the skyline. An estimated extra 12 jobs will be created as a result of the centre.

It will involve an extra 10 lorries entering the site a day on average, but with the current average 591 a day, the company believes the impact on nearby residents will be small.

Honda has met several South Marston parish councillors and given them the outline of what it is they plan to do.

Barry Thunder, of South Marston Parish Council, said: “From what we have seen so far, it appears there will be very little actual impact on the village. Although I have not seen the formal plans, what we were shown looked very good.

“It will not stick out over the skyline and the emissions look as though they will kept low.

“We will have to wait until the full plans go before the parish council planning committee but at this stage I cannot see there being a problem.”

Comments (11)

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6:35am Wed 18 Dec 13

swindondad says...

This sounds like a good idea; I am not sure I understand the science behind it but if it is as good as they say there is little for the NIMBY's to moan about.
This sounds like a good idea; I am not sure I understand the science behind it but if it is as good as they say there is little for the NIMBY's to moan about. swindondad
  • Score: 19

8:00am Wed 18 Dec 13

A.Baron-Cohen says...

South Marston residents will never agree to it.
South Marston residents will never agree to it. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 10

8:29am Wed 18 Dec 13

AGINGER says...

Light a FIRE, Bake the wood, the wood gas given off is then used to fuel a gas turbine which drives an alternator which produces an electric current
Some of the produced gas is then used to bake more wood,the charcoal is also burned producing a delightful mix of not very nice fumes ejected from a lovely chimney.
However , no mention is ever given a to the energy used to manufacture the woodchip which no doubt will be imported,the most gas being produced from hardwood. But being a resident of South Marston would sooner see this system than B------Great Windmills.
By the way,during the very austere times of WW11 many lorries and cars were powered by Wood Gas by baking hardwood twigs,no hope for todays cars though,their computers could not cope with this old fashioned technology. AW.
Light a FIRE, Bake the wood, the wood gas given off is then used to fuel a gas turbine which drives an alternator which produces an electric current Some of the produced gas is then used to bake more wood,the charcoal is also burned producing a delightful mix of not very nice fumes ejected from a lovely chimney. However , no mention is ever given a to the energy used to manufacture the woodchip which no doubt will be imported,the most gas being produced from hardwood. But being a resident of South Marston would sooner see this system than B------Great Windmills. By the way,during the very austere times of WW11 many lorries and cars were powered by Wood Gas by baking hardwood twigs,no hope for todays cars though,their computers could not cope with this old fashioned technology. AW. AGINGER
  • Score: 2

8:30am Wed 18 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
South Marston residents will never agree to it.
They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking!
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: South Marston residents will never agree to it.[/p][/quote]They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking! house on the hill
  • Score: 18

9:32am Wed 18 Dec 13

Al Smith says...

Bet the locals will soon be wishing they had the wind farm!

Following the job losses at Honda SBC will either know or suspect that the future of the plant might be at stake. Honda clearly want to cut energy costs and perhaps even earn some money from selling surplus power back to the grid. If they don't get their own way they almost certainly will have a good long think about whether expanding their Civic plant in Turkey, where labour is cheaper and where locals don't whine about things like wind turbines, is the way forward.
Bet the locals will soon be wishing they had the wind farm! Following the job losses at Honda SBC will either know or suspect that the future of the plant might be at stake. Honda clearly want to cut energy costs and perhaps even earn some money from selling surplus power back to the grid. If they don't get their own way they almost certainly will have a good long think about whether expanding their Civic plant in Turkey, where labour is cheaper and where locals don't whine about things like wind turbines, is the way forward. Al Smith
  • Score: 16

9:40am Wed 18 Dec 13

GE SWINDON says...

house on the hill wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
South Marston residents will never agree to it.
They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking!
Have you seen the solar farm in South Marston???? Maybe you need a good fracking? Might give you some more substance to your claims when they are completely wrong. Lets whack a biomass plant or wind farm in your back garden and see how you get on??
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: South Marston residents will never agree to it.[/p][/quote]They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking![/p][/quote]Have you seen the solar farm in South Marston???? Maybe you need a good fracking? Might give you some more substance to your claims when they are completely wrong. Lets whack a biomass plant or wind farm in your back garden and see how you get on?? GE SWINDON
  • Score: -15

9:57am Wed 18 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

GE SWINDON wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
South Marston residents will never agree to it.
They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking!
Have you seen the solar farm in South Marston???? Maybe you need a good fracking? Might give you some more substance to your claims when they are completely wrong. Lets whack a biomass plant or wind farm in your back garden and see how you get on??
Do please lighten up, can you not recognise tongue in cheek when you see it? Stop taking yourself so seriously.

So instead of just slagging off others, what is your proposal for our energy needs then?
[quote][p][bold]GE SWINDON[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: South Marston residents will never agree to it.[/p][/quote]They would never agree to anything, wind, solar, biomass. Maybe they all just need a good fracking![/p][/quote]Have you seen the solar farm in South Marston???? Maybe you need a good fracking? Might give you some more substance to your claims when they are completely wrong. Lets whack a biomass plant or wind farm in your back garden and see how you get on??[/p][/quote]Do please lighten up, can you not recognise tongue in cheek when you see it? Stop taking yourself so seriously. So instead of just slagging off others, what is your proposal for our energy needs then? house on the hill
  • Score: 8

10:20am Wed 18 Dec 13

StillPav says...

swindondad wrote:
This sounds like a good idea; I am not sure I understand the science behind it but if it is as good as they say there is little for the NIMBY's to moan about.
The problem is, SwindonDad, that if someone did understand the science they could articulate whether this will have a genuine environmental impact or if it is as clean as suggested.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: This sounds like a good idea; I am not sure I understand the science behind it but if it is as good as they say there is little for the NIMBY's to moan about.[/p][/quote]The problem is, SwindonDad, that if someone did understand the science they could articulate whether this will have a genuine environmental impact or if it is as clean as suggested. StillPav
  • Score: 2

11:26am Wed 18 Dec 13

Tyran66 says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
South Marston residents will never agree to it.
Lucky for the rest of us they will have little say in the matter. A local employer the size of Honda will have central government contacts, if they want it built. It will be built.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: South Marston residents will never agree to it.[/p][/quote]Lucky for the rest of us they will have little say in the matter. A local employer the size of Honda will have central government contacts, if they want it built. It will be built. Tyran66
  • Score: 9

6:12pm Wed 18 Dec 13

John~R says...

Swindon is in need of somewhere nearby which can use locally produced wood and this proposal provides an opportunity, not a threat. There are plenty of trees in the borough which are SBC's responsibility and which are in need a good trim but SBC hasn't got the funds to do it properly. Planting trees is only a long term environmental benefit if the wood is harvested and put to good use and having a local customer for the tree cuttings would be a win-win situation.
Swindon is in need of somewhere nearby which can use locally produced wood and this proposal provides an opportunity, not a threat. There are plenty of trees in the borough which are SBC's responsibility and which are in need a good trim but SBC hasn't got the funds to do it properly. Planting trees is only a long term environmental benefit if the wood is harvested and put to good use and having a local customer for the tree cuttings would be a win-win situation. John~R
  • Score: 2

8:41am Thu 19 Dec 13

AGINGER says...

Jut have a look at the application S/EIA/13/1665 the waste produced will be 2,700 Tonsper annum, so with chipping the wood ,transporting by HGV, no doubt all hydrocarbon fuelled,burning the wood producing Co2 just to produce hydrocarbon fuelled vehicles,I cannot see very much Co2 emissions reduction in the proposed system.
Jut have a look at the application S/EIA/13/1665 [12 Nov 2013 and all will be revealed, Consumption = 49,000 Tons of feedtock per annum[wood] the waste produced will be 2,700 Tonsper annum, so with chipping the wood ,transporting by HGV, no doubt all hydrocarbon fuelled,burning the wood[oh sorry baking it] producing Co2 just to produce hydrocarbon fuelled vehicles,I cannot see very much Co2 emissions reduction in the proposed system. AGINGER
  • Score: -3

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