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The 4 most important things you need to know about CHP

4th September, 2015

Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is one of the most efficient sustainable energy technologies available and absolutely ideal for farms and agriculture. CHP is designed to produce both heat and electricity simultaneously, and can add considerable value to a business. This is what you need to know:

1. CHP is an easy project to get off the ground

CHP doesn’t require a formal planning application and doesn’t rely on you having a lot of open space, the correct land topography or a suitable distance from unnatural features such as neighbouring properties. The flue of a CHP stands under one meter and the emissions are so clean that a plant can even be situated in restricted areas such as inside listed buildings, city centres and conservation areas.

2. The value of CHP is multifaceted

Combined Heat & Power does exactly what it says on the tin: it generates both heat and power at the same time. The heating aspect of a CHP plant is set up to go where it will be most valuable during installation, making it a particularly useful option for businesses which need to dry raw materials, sterilize products or heat large spaces. The heat from the unit can be directed to as many commercial destinations as desired, such as dryers, dairies, workshops, holiday cottages, greenhouses etc.

The electricity generated by the plant can either be routed to power your business directly with any extra being sold back to the Grid (at export rate) or the system can be set up to sell all generated energy back to the National Grid.

CHP also qualifies for ROCs and RHI, both of which are government backed schemes put in place to incentivise businesses to generate their own heat and power. Put together, the first hand value of CHP in reduction of heat and power bills plus incentivised income allows for a rapid payback period (typically under five years) and an excellent secure income.

3. CHP requires a smaller Grid connection

With Grid capacity filling up rapidly on a national scale, many applicants for larger scale renewable and sustainable energy projects are finding that they’ve arrived too late and there isn’t enough Grid capacity left locally to support their project.

However, CHP plants only require a very modest Grid connection which could allow landowners in Grid-tied areas to bring a sustainable energy project to reality. Despite only requiring a 40kW connection, a CHP plant generates energy on a constant basis and so is capable of generating 320,000kWh of electricity and 720,000kWh of heat per year.

4. CHP plants are sustainable and low in carbon emissions

A Combined Heat & Power plant is a self-contained system fuelled by sustainably sourced wood chips. A local supplier delivers sustainably sourced wood chips at routine intervals and feeds them straight into the plant’s fuel store, from where an auger will automatically feed the wood chips into the plant. Generating heat and power in this way allows you to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your business.

Using correctly sourced wood chips produces 93% less CO2 than equivalent gas-powered systems. There is little to no visible smoke from the flue and the system produces virtually zero nitrogen oxides.*


Want to find out more? Our team can answer your questions, provide a free desktop feasibility assessment and see if your site is suitable for CHP. Call us on 01937 501011 or request an assessment online.

*These figures are based on the CHP technology Earthmill supplies and we can’t guarantee that they accurately represent other commercially available CHP technologies.