Landfill site operator Enovert, which changed its name from Cory in 2018, has launched proposals for a new green energy park on its former refuse tip at Hempsted, Gloucester.
The 350-acre Hempsted Landfill Site closed in July 2019 with part of the site continuing to be used to compost around 14,000 tonnes per annum of household garden waste from Gloucester City and Stroud District councils.
Enovert is working on plans to develop a new energy park, which would comprise a range of renewable generation technologies including a solar farm, with the potential for wind and biomass generation in the future.
If successful, the scheme would represent the first renewable energy park to be built on a former landfill site and could potentially deliver up to 15MW of green energy once fully developed out.
Enovert is currently preparing a planning application for the first phase of a solar farm, which would see an initial 2MW of solar power capacity installed. The application is due to be submitted in the coming weeks and the company hopes to be in a position to start development later this year.
In addition, planting has already commenced to create a new woodland area of around 250 acres which will eventually total more than 100,000 trees to provide a new natural amenity for local people, as well as fuel for biomass coppicing.
The proposed Gloucester Green Energy Park would make a significant contribution towards Gloucester City Council plan to make the whole area carbon neutral by 2050.
The Leader of Gloucester City Council, Cllr Richard Cook, joined Enovert CEO Mark Silvester at the site to offer his backing to the scheme.
Cllr Cook said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Gloucester as we look to achieve carbon neutrality and sustainable power generation for the region. In addition to the new woodland areas, the energy park offers plenty of opportunities for renewable energy generation and will bring new jobs and investment to the area.”
Gloucester’s MP, Richard Graham, has also spoken publicly of his support for the new Energy Park and has taken part in planting the first phase of 6,000 new trees at the site.
Richard said: “This great green plan will make Gloucester the Greenest Small City for making our own green energy – and every child in our city will be invited to plant a tree in a huge new wood. I will go on giving Enovert and our City Council every encouragement in this great endeavour.”
Mark Silvester, CEO of Enovert, added: “The production of renewable power at Hempsted would provide Gloucester with a green energy hub adjacent to the city, enabling renewable energy to be distributed locally.
“We are currently formulating our masterplan for the site, and at present we are moving ahead with tree planting and plans for the first phase of a solar farm, comprising around 6,000 photovoltaic panels.
“If our forthcoming application is successful, the renewable energy generated could be supplied directly to local businesses, while the new Hempsted Woods provide opportunities for businesses to offset their carbon though planting trees.
“Enovert has transformed a series of former landfill sites into country parks but this would be the first landfill site in the UK to be transformed into a renewable energy park.
“Our plans for Hempsted go far beyond the original restoration proposed for the site and we’re incredibly keen to get this project off the ground. If successful, this scheme could become a blueprint for the restoration of our remaining landfill sites in the UK.”