BS│ENERGY in Braunschweig, a Veolia subsidiary, has set the course for a climate friendly future for the city with its decision to replace its coal-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant by 2022. At around 220 million Euros, the project is the largest investment in the company’s history. Once completed, the new facility will produce sustainable heat and power with a new biomass CHP combined with a new gas turbine CHP.
From coal to climate friendly and flexible energy production
In December 2018, BS│ENERGY decided to switch its energy production from a coal-fired system to one using a combination of biomass and gas turbine CHP. Three criteria guided the decision: ensuring security of supply, guaranteeing profitability and reinforcing climate protection.
Indeed, what is needed today are flexible energy systems that guarantee an affordable and reliable power and heat supply when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. The initiated plant modernization will allow for a flexible interaction with energy market, and in addition to cutting carbon dioxide emissions, it will considerably reduce air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter.
With this new approach, BS│ENERGY concretely implemented a decision to phase out coal and replace it by a climate friendly energy supply, much earlier than required by German law.
Ensuring sustainable and efficient waste wood supply
The main fuel for the biomass cogeneration plant is waste wood. It is sustainable because burning wood releases only as much carbon as the trees capture from the air when they grew. Most of the waste wood is processed material unsuitable for recycling and comes from a maximum radius of 250 km. It is affordable and will be available in sufficient quantities over the long term. Veolia Umweltservice, expert material flow management will coordinate the waste wood supply processes. Furthermore, the new CHP plant will utilise almost 85 percent of the energy stored in the wood. This is significantly more efficient than conventional non-CHP biomass plants using waste wood.
Flexible production capacities
The BS│ENERGY biomass CHP will supply affordable heat for the base load. In peak periods, especially during the cold winter months, the gas turbine CHP plant will provide flexibility by quickly balancing grid fluctuations through fast startups and shutdowns.
The combined gas and steam power plant that was put into operation in 2011 will serve as the third energy supply pillar once the two new plants are complete.
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