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Helius Energy welcomes UK govt consultation on biomass energy support levels


Biomass power plant builder Helius Energy (LON:HEGY) welcomed the latest government consultation on proposals for levels of support for dedicated biomass, which provides planning security for the next few years.

The company said the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s publication of levels of banded support under the Renewables Obligation (RO) legislation for the period 2013-17 provides greater clarity.

RO is designed to encourage generation of electricity from renewable sources in the United Kingdom, by placing an obligation on electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources.

Helius believes that the proposal for dedicated biomass banding - to retain the existing support level of 1.5 RO Certificates per megawatt hour (ROCs/MWhr) until April 1 2016 when the level will drop slightly to 1.4 ROCs/MWhr for new accreditations - effectively maintains the existing levels for those projects already under construction or approaching financial close.

Helius is currently seeking to secure  project funding for a 100 MegaWatt plant in Avonmouth, Bristol, with the aim of starting construction in the second quarter of 2012, and is progressing a similar scheme in Southampton through the consenting process. 

The company's joint venture Helius CoRDe's 7.2 MW biomass to power plant, which is currently under construction, is outside the scope of this consultation as it is located in Rothes, Scotland.  The plant is due to come onstream in 2013. 

Helius said that the publication marks the start of a consultation period which is due to end on January 12 2012, and that it will play its full part in the process.

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