As we respect the right of local communities to information, you are welcome to send your questions about the investment to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, we are presenting answers to selected, most often asked questions:
During the operation of the plant, can the investor change the type of fuel combusted, e.g. due to lack of straw. Will he be able to burn waste?
The technology intended for implementation by the Investor does not allow for the use of any different fuel than the basic fuel in the form of straw and supplementary fuel – wood chips, of specific humidity parameters. This is strictly connected to the method fuel feeding to the boiler, the very boiler design, as well as chemical processes occurring during combustion (affecting the durability and efficiency of installations, including corrosion and soiling). The facility is not suitable for feeding and burning other types of fuel. Reconstruction of the plant in order to adapt it to waste incineration will also be impossible due to economic reasons – the technological line would have to be practically built from scratch.
Apart from technical issues, the possibility of using different fuel is strongly limited by formal and economic aspects. The facility, thanks to the use of biomass as fuel, qualifies for Renewable Energy Sources. The change of fuel would result in the loss of this status and, consequently, the benefits resulting from it. Moreover, it would be exposed to significant financial penalties, basically preventing further functioning related to the exit from the support system for renewable energy sources. Changing fuel to waste is not possible, as the current binding regulations concerning biomass combustion are completely different from the regulationsconcerning thermal waste treatment.
In conclusion, the use of fuels other than straw and chips in the Facility in question is unrealistic for technological, legal and economic reasons. Implementation of changes in the scope of fuel combusted would practically necessitate deep modernization and reconstruction of major part if the Facility as well as obtaining permits as for a new investment.
Which state office will supervise the operation of the plant?
The operation of the future power plant will be subject to constant control of many supervisory and control bodies, including:
- in the scope of energy production and supply, ongoing reporting of activities and technical efficiency of equipment and staff – to the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (URE), who grants licenses for running power plants and who, in the event of non-compliance, may revoke the license and impose penalties,
- in the scope of compliance of the power plant operation with the requirements of environmental protection – including possible emissions, pollution or waste production – the control and supervision will remain in the scope of responibility of the environmental protection authorities specified in the Environmental Protection Law. For the planned investment, such body will in principle be a staroste supported by the Voivodship Inspector for Environmental Protection (WIOŚ),
- in terms of environmental impact and human health – the sanitary inspection, i.e. the State Poviat Sanitary Inspectorate.
Will any officers check what fuel will be combusted there; the question is what is the guarantee that after some time a different type of fuel will not be burnt there?
Prior to starting the production activity, the power plant will have to obtain an integrated permit (it is a specific license for running a business) – in which the type and amount of fuel used and the amount of pollutants emitted to the environment will be defined – emissions to air, noise, discharge of sewage into the sewage system, etc. The control rights concerning compliance of the facility with the integrated permit and emission of pollutants to all environmental components are held by the Voivodship Inspector for Environmental Protection.
The fuel used and the technology of energy production will also have to be in accordance with the documentation approved by the Energy Regulatory Office.
The power plant will be required to submit regular reports to the competent authorities, and in addition, its activity shall be subject to regular inspections of competent authorities not only in the field of energy and environmental protection, but also of sanitary inspection.
The use of fuel other than those indicated in the issued permits would constitute a serious violation of the issued permits and would threaten the plant with a closure. Meanwhile, changing permits towards expanding with other types of fuel would require re-conducting environmental proceedings with public participation and repeating procedures as for a new investment.
It would also be utterly unprofitable from the investor’s perspective, as it would require deep modernization and reconstruction of most part of the facility.
Will the construction permission specify the fuel, i.e. straw and wood chips, or are such elements are not specified there?
The type of fuel that will be used in the power plant is specified in the decision on environmental conditions for the implementation of the investment issued by the competent authority (e.g. Vogt, Village or Town Mayor) following a detailed assessment of all investment parameters. Obtaining of such decision takes place prior to submitting the application for the building permit and constitutes an attachment to the application for its issuance. A building permit must comply with the conditions set out in the environmental decision.
Moreover, the type of fuel used will also be specified in other official documents, without which the power plant can not start or operate its business – e.g. in an integrated permit or concession for the operation of the power plant issued by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office.
Can the permission for the operation of the power plant be withdrawn in a situation, where it will harm residents due to dust or smell?
The operation of the power plant must be in compliance with all permits and decisions, including the decision on the environmental conditions of the project implementation, integrated permit, and documentation approved by the Energy Regulatory Office. In the event of failure to meet the requirements set out in these decisions or in the applicable standards for a power plant, penalties may be imposed, and approval for running a power plant may be withdrawn (concession), what in practice means end of its operation.
The negative environmental impact of the investment should be in particular considered as a breach of the applicable requirements. Should therefore the power plant not be able to meet the requirements for air emissions, noise, sewage discharge, etc., defined in the integrated permit, the Voivodship Inspectorate for Environmental Protection as a control body may issue decisions on suspending the operation of the power plant until the causes of the exceedances are eliminated.
As a result, the condition for the plant operation is that it will not harm the residents due to of pollution, while failure to meet it would result in the withdrawal of consent to the plant operation.
However, it should be emphasized that the expected emissions and impacts are assessed already at the stage of issuing the permits necessary to create a power plant – the condition for the investment implementation is to demonstrate that the applicable standards will not be exceeded.
Will reloading of straw cause littering and dusting of the area?
Unloading of vehicles will be conducted inside a warehouse equipped with a tight ventilation system connected to the collective dedusting system of separation node. Such solution guarantees no intensive dust spreading outside the storage hall, which may occur during the unloading of straw and its transport to the boiler. After unloading, the trailers will be compulsorily vacuumed and cleaned of cargo residues, what will eliminate dusting from vehicles leaving the premises of the Plant.
Can straw storage cause odours in the area or the appearance of insects and rodents?
At the plant premises the straw will be stored in a dedicated storage room, which will provide fuel for about 5 days of continuous operation of the plant. The warehouse is a building of a closed structure, equipped with a ventilation system and fire protection system. The imported straw will have to meet the appropriate and impassable parameters regarding the permissible level of humidity as it is a requirement necessary for the proper functioning of the fuel combustion process. The crane used for unloading of straw inside the warehouse will be equipped with a hygrometer (humidity sensor) and if the given straw supply does not meet the relevant moisture parameters, it will be immediately returned to the producer. Therefore, the situation in which straw will rot is not possible. Constant rotation resulting from the delivery and consumption of fuel on an ongoing basis and observing appropriate permissible moisture parameters will prevent the occurrence of undesirable processes in the straw that may affect the odor impact, as well as the nesting of insects or rodents.
Will the combustion process use straw needed e.g. for poultry farms or mushroom farms?
Basic fuel – cereal straw, corn straw, and rape straw will be sourced within a radius of up to 100 km from the investment location. Both tests carried out by TergoPower and agreements with agricultural producers indicate surplus of the above mentioned types of straw exceeding the demand of the planned power plant for fuel.
Moreover, TergoPower cultivates energy sorghum on low-grade soils located within the assumed radius for fuel acquiring in order to optimize the technology of obtaining this raw material in the climatic and soil conditions typical for Wielkopolska [Greater Poland]. The results of crops indicate that energy sorghum can be a significant component in the power plant fuel structure. Due to the above, there is no risk of shortage of fuel for the installation during its operation.
We need to notice that expert studies show that the trend of straw demand in animal production and in the production of mushrooms is decreasing. Manufacturers are increasingly switching from the bedding system to grate system in animal husbandry that completely eliminates the use of straw. Moreover, the use of this system is required by the EU directives, which is to reduce hoof diseases and other fungal diseases of animals, the cause of which lies in the use of straw. Over the time, the grate system is going to replace in 100% the bedding system, what will add to further increase of surplus straw on the market. Also, the mushroom producers are working on solutions where straw-based beddings will be replaced with cheaper and more disease-resistant synthetic oness, which in turn will also gradually reduce the interest of the mushroom industry in straw.
Will farmers have to invest in straw collection equipment that shapes it in suitable cubes?
For straw harvesting in a proper shape (rectangular bales) and of appropriate weight and compaction it is necessary to have appropriate technical facilities like tractors and presses, in which currently the farmers are not equipped. Therefore, TergoPower assumes full or partial responsibility for the availability of these specialised devices through financing, co-financing, and other ways of making them avaulable.