MMAG supporters will have seen the adverts in the local press by Millbrook Power giving notice of their intention to apply to the government for permission to build and operate a 299 megawatt gas fired power station in Rookery Pit South. This is a separate application to the Covanta project. However, the Millbrook Power project will sit within the geographical boundary of the area covered by the permission granted to Covanta in 2011! Nevertheless, Millbrook Power will still have to consult with local communities and seek permission from Government.
Of course this is not a new application. Millbrook Power expressed an interest a few years ago but as with Covanta all went quiet after an initial phase of consultation in late 2014. Is it coincidence that as Covanta suddenly re-appears on the scene, Millbrook Power appears afterwards? The network owner of Millbrook Power is DRAX Power in North Yorkshire – wasn’t there a Bond villain called DRAX?
Changes have been made to the application avoiding the need for overhead transmission lines and a reduction in the number of (engine) turbines and the maximum height of the stack reduced from 60m to 35m; which are all to be welcomed.
A period of statutory public consultation has begun from May 29th 2017 ending July 2nd 2017. Public exhibitions are timetabled between June 9th and June 13th in Marston Moreteyne; Stewartby; Ampthill and Lidlington:
9th Friday 15.00 – 19.30 Marston Moreteyne Village Hall MK43 0LD
10th Saturday 09.00 – 13.00 Stewart Club, Stewartby Way MK43 9NB
12th Monday 16.00 – 20.00 Wingfield Club, 37 Church Street, Ampthill MK45 2PL
13th Tuesday 12.30 – 15.30 Lidlington Village Hall MK43 0RT
The project has a website where documents can be found www.millbrookpower.co.uk
MMAG will be responding to the public consultation in the second half of June.
The immediate concern is the cumulative impact which their leaflet euphemistically refers to as the “interaction” between Millbrook Power and Covanta. It will be an example of further industrialisation of Rookery Pit South with Millbrook Power, Covanta and Veolia – who next? Also how will the heat emanating from the Millbrook stack affect the emissions from the Covanta stack; where much of the environmental data is now several years old?
MMAG encourages everyone to attend the public exhibitions and to beware the pitch from Millbrook Power that because they are not Covanta then they cannot be bad.
And of course there is a strange irony to all of this – both Covanta and Millbrook Power aim to be part of the future of sustainable energy infrastructure of the future. Millbrook Power will only switched on when the new sustainable infrastructure fails to meet demand. DRAX was one of the UKs largest coal stations. It now burns largely wood pellets as energy generation has moved from coal to sustainable energy sources because of the challenges of climate change. However, because we cannot guarantee when the wind will blow, or the sun will shine or whether a power station burning pellets will keep the lights on; we apparently need a power station in Rookery Pit burning gas next to a power station burning waste…….