The proposed project site in Rookery South Pit is located approximately 2 km to the east of the A421 which connects directly to Junction 13 of the M1 Motorway, approximately 6 km to the south east of the Project Site.
The Rookery (grid ref. 501373, 240734) and therefore the power plant site, was previously worked for clay used in the nearby Stewartby Brickworks until its closure in 2008. To the north of the Rookery some of the buildings associated with the brickworks remain standing, including the chimneys which are now listed.
The main elements of the proposed Project would comprise:
- A new Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant, also known as a Simple Cycle Gas Turbine, designed to provide up to 299 Megawatts (MW) of electricity. The plant is expected to operate for a maximum of 2,250 hours in any given year, provided that the five-year rolling average does not exceed 1,500 hours. Following consultation in 2014/15 and additional technical work, the plant will now incorporate a single gas turbine generator with one exhaust gas flue stack, a temporary laydown area required during construction and an access road from Green Lane, near Stewartby.
- A new electrical connection (including underground cables) to export electricity from the plant to the National Grid Electricity Transmission System. This element incorporates a new circuit connection to the existing 400 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line and a new substation. The decision to place the connection underground rather than as an overhead line with transmission towers was made in 2014 and was shared with the local community; it was an outcome of local consultation and informed by additional technical studies.
- A new underground gas pipeline connection to bring natural gas to the plant from the Gas National Transmission System, which is located approximately 1.8 km from the project site. This element incorporates an above ground installation (AGI) located off-site at the south-eastern end of the pipeline.
Given its capacity size of 299 MW, the project requires a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The Secretary of State will take a decision on the application on receipt of a recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate takes around six months to examine an application once submitted.