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UK: Environmental compliance for small combined heat and power

NFU Energy has a range of services to assist you and your projects' environmental compliance needs; from permitting to dispersion modelling, they can help your project go from paper to reality. The application and compliance service is designed to ensure high quality and reliable support for your project and specifically to meet any permit requirements, such as Environmental Regulatory Permitting (EPR) and Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC) requirements.

Their qualified engineers are on hand to assist with expert recommendations, for example, a site seeking to reduce its heat and electricity bills may consider installing a Combined Heat and Power engine (CHP). Although CHPs under 1 MW thermal input broadly do not require permitting, there are some caveats that  could catch you out.

1) Misreading of capacity
Many installers and site operators focus on the output capacity of their plants when sizing their plant. For instance, a 600 kWe (electrical capacity) CHP will have over 1 MWth input, which would classify it as a medium sized plant; therefore, requiring permitting. The electrical capacity divided by the electrical efficiency will give you the thermal input, if this is greater than 1,000kW (1MW) then you will require an
environmental permit.

2) Aggregation
Sites with more than one plant capable of generating power (e.g. lots of small CHPs, CHPs comprising boiler(s) with ORC(s)) that provide heat and power to the same activities onsite can be subject to aggregation. This is where all the plant capacities are added together; these require permitting if the total exceeds 1 MWth input.

3) Capacity Market Auctions
If you intend to enter the 2021 capacity market auctions you will need to have an environmental permit. The minimum export capacity that sites can auction for is 100 kWe. Therefore, small CHPs with grid
export agreements less than this will also not require permitting. Pre-2017 existing CHPs (i.e. those not yet subject to permitting until 2025 (>5MWth) or 2029 (1-5 MWth)) that plan to enter the 2021 capacity
market auctions will require permitting earlier in order to take part.

For more information:
NFU Energy
024 7669 6512 


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